Tuesday, February 22, 2011

iPads in the cockpit: ForeFlight update

Recent updates of ForeFlight includes a number of interesting updates:

  • The ability to dim the screen beyond what the iPad's built in screen brightness control allows.  Since the built-in controls left the screen much too bright for night flight, this is a very welcome addition.
  • The ability to include only those waypoints that involves "bends" in the airways as part of a flight plan. ForeFlight allowed you to specify airways by simply inserting the appropriate entry point, airway identifier, and exit point---which would then pick up every way point in between.  But for long flights, this was a bit tedious if the waypoint did not involve a change in heading. The new version allows you to set it so that only those waypoints that involve changes in heading are included in the flight plan.
Then there are the interesting but perhaps less useful (to some) feature additions:

  • ForeFlight now offers geo-referenced approach plates and taxi diagrams, when coupled with a more accurate GPS (e.g. Bad Elf GPS). Up to now, geo-reference approach plates were a bit academic given the weaknesses of the iPad's built in GPS.  Now that there are at least two Apple approved, WAAS enabled GPS solutions for the iPad, geo-referenced approach plates are much more interest.  I personally find the little airplane on the approach plate more distracting (sometimes obscuring useful info) than anything else, but I know a lot of pilots who have been waiting for this feature. The nice thin is that you can choose.  The regular data subscription remains at $75 per year.  The "pro" subscription which adds the geo-referenced plates and taxi-diagrams is $150.

1 comment:

  1. The features are a good addition. It makes the device more functional.

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