What navigation program should I use on MSFS?

Jim French Guest

What navigation program should I use on MSFS?

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Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello Jim,

Your question is a common one and it's great to see that you're eager to dive into the more complex side of virtual aviation. The answer largely depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the level of realism you're seeking.

Let me provide some guidance. One of the most popular choices for a navigation program is Navigraph (https://www.navigraph.com). It offers comprehensive and regularly updated navigation charts, and a desktop application called Charts, which syncs with MSFS for real-time tracking on the chart. It also offers an AIRAC cycle service (Aeronautical Information Regulation And Control, which essentially is a schedule for updates of aeronautical information). This ensures you always have up-to-date information, which is particularly important if you're also using online ATC services like VATSIM or IVAO where you need to follow real-world procedures.

Another option worth considering is Little Navmap (https://albar965.github.io/littlenavmap.html). It's an open-source program that offers quite a bit of functionality, including detailed airport maps, route planning, and a moving map. It also supports a variety of file formats for exporting your flight plans to MSFS.

SimBrief (https://www.simbrief.com) is another tool that's often used in conjunction with the above. It's a flight planning service, allowing you to generate realistic flight plans, including fuel calculations, enroute charts, etc. It also integrates well with both Navigraph and Little Navmap.

Lastly, for VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flying, SkyVector (https://www.skyvector.com) is a free online resource that provides worldwide aeronautical charts. Though it doesn't directly interface with MSFS, it's a great tool for planning VFR flights.

While there are certainly other options available, these are the ones that come to mind as being the most robust and widely-used in the flight sim community. Ultimately, the best program for you will depend on your specific needs and how you plan to use the simulator.

I hope this helps and gives you a good place to start. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions!

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