Oshkosh 2015

Our IT manager Peter Derrick has just returned from the USA and his first ever AirVenture with Bevan Anderson, our founder and CEO, where they spent a busy week continuing AvPlan EFB expansion into the US market.

Oshkosh’s overall increase in visitor numbers meant several new paddocks were opened for parking on the airfield at Oshkosh. Perhaps in part it was the fabulous weather that lured the crowds. The larger crowd was reflected in the increased amount of interest in AvPlan EFB and the guys were kept busy with many international (and some Australian) visitors.

Highlights of the trip were the annual AvPlan EFB barbecue held out at Lake Winnebago, which was attended by a large Australian contingent who were afforded the opportunity to share stories and a meal with representatives from Jeppesen, Wings of Steel, Lacrosse Technologies and many of our American friends.

We also supported the EAA ‘Women Soar You Soar’ program by providing branded backpacks, and a twelve month VFR subscription to AvPlan EFB.

The Women Soar You Soar program strives to engage, inspire, and educate young women to pursue their dreams in aviation and beyond. The unique program introduces girls to women mentors – from engineers to fighter pilots – working in a variety of aviation and aerospace fields. It’s four days filled with career exploration, discovery, inspiration, and fun.

Activities include flight simulation, workshops, wing rib assembly, mentor sessions, career exploration, and more. Of course, it also includes an AirVenture experience.

There was also strong interest in AvPlan EFB’s LSALT/MEA calculation capability and a particularly strong interest in our superior weather capabilities and unique glide functionality.

Of particular interest to new users in the USA, was our Top of Climb, Top of Descent and Point of No Return labelling for the flight plan. Our detailed Weight and Balance capability also impressed those who had not seen it before as it is unlike anything else available on the market.

“They sure do it bigger and better in the States and highlights include getting in and around the aircraft on display, particularly the Lancaster, Mosquito, B52, B29, F22 and F35,” said Peter. “We spent a lot of time looking at many aircraft on display, but these are not on display often.”

Terminal Page Shortcut

Have you ever had to get to those RNAV-Z plates in the Terminal pane?

If you scroll page by page (especially at a large airport with many approaches/departures) it might take quite a bit of time to reach the one you want.  This trick should save you quite a few swipes:

Navigate to the Terminal page for your desired airport.  Tap the screen one single time with three fingers – a dark bar should appear at the bottom of the screen.  Along this bar will be thumbnails of the available pages, which can be easily swiped left or right.  Tap on a thumbnail to select it. If you wish to dismiss the shortcut bar without selecting a page, simply tap the screen once more with three fingers.

 

Three-Finger-Tap-Shortcut

 

Enjoy!

New NavData – Using the app while it’s still downloading.

It’s that time again – new NavData cycle.  NavData is at the core of AvPlan EFB, containing waypoints, airways, navaids, map orientation data and much more – so it’s important you have the most up-to-date information at your disposal.

You may open the app to find that it needs to “Download Updated NavData”.  A little known fact is that in most cases, you don’t necessarily need to wait for it to complete.  You can dismiss this message and get going with planning your flight.

This is achieved by tapping the Accept button that appears in the bottom-right-hand corner of the message card.

NavDataDownload

You will then be able to continue on with flight planning as normal, and the download will complete in the background.

The exception to the above is when you either don’t have any NavData loaded yet, or your NavData has become corrupted in some way in your devices’ storage.  In which case, you’ll receive a ‘NavData Invalid’ message just above the progress bar and you’ll have to wait a few moments for it to complete.

Electronic Charts for your EFIS

AvSoft Australia have now brought their award winning seamless charts to your Dynon Skyview and AFS AF-5000 EFIS cockpit displays.

This is a culmination of months of collaboration between AvSoft, Dynon, AFS and Seattle Avionics and we’re excited to be able to announce this today.

The Australian Data Subscription includes the MegaVFR chart combining all all WAC, VTC and VNC charts for Australia. Our Mega En Route Low chart combining the ERC Low charts and embedded TAC charts for Australia is also included.

Additionally the complete DAP East & West is available, all with geo-referenced airport diagrams and instrument approach procedures.

The New Zealand data subscription includes the New Zealand VNC chart and geo-referenced airport diagrams and instrument approach procedures from AIP Volumes 2-4.

A subscription to this service enables you to use the charts in a single aircraft for 1 year, and includes a free update service for the life of the subscription. A subscription is valid for 1 aircraft only and the data is usable only for the life of the subscription.

Subscriptions are available on our website for the low price of $149 AUD for the Australian data, or $169 NZD for the New Zealand data. Subscribe during AirVenture (finishes July 26) for just $99 AUD for Australia or $119 NZD for New Zealand!

The Dynon charts will be usable in the next Dynon software release (version 13), coming very soon after AirVenture. The AFS charts are usable today with the current AFS software release (Vx12)

 

AvPlan EFB Data Update (23rd July 2015)

Data updates for AvPlan EFB are now available for download within AvPlan EFB.

For United States subscribers there is new terminal procedures and sectional charts. In New Zealand there is a new edition of the AIP (Volumes 1-4). In Australia there is a new edition of the Country Airstrip Guide available for download by subscribers of that product.

To download updated editions of previously saved data, open AvPlan EFB and tap Settings, Data Downloads, Update.

 

 

‘Append Plan’ Button – What does it do?

Append Plan is a very handy feature of Edit Mode.  It allows you to extract waypoints from another plan and have them magically appear in your current one – without altering the original in any way!

Example Scenario 1:

You have a flight coming up. You’ve flown it previously, and don’t want to re-enter all the waypoints… but you also don’t wish lose the information saved in that earlier plan.

  • Tap ‘New Plan’.
  • Give the plan a description in the Flight Plan Description field.
  • Enter Edit Mode (the ‘folder’ icon, bottom-left of screen).
  • Tap ‘Append Plan’ from the buttons that appears where the  Flight Plan Description field was – A pop-up list of your current collection of plans appears.  Scroll through the list until you find the desired plan. Tap it.
  • After only a few seconds, the waypoints will appear in your new plan.
  • Tap the Edit Mode icon once again to exit that mode.
  • Continue your flight planning.
  • Enjoy!

 

Example Scenario 2:

You have two shorter plans that you’d like to put together into one long plan.

  • Open the first plan (i.e. the one that starts from your initial location) from the Stored Plans list.
  • Enter Edit Mode (the ‘folder’ icon, bottom-left of screen).
  • Tap ‘Append Plan’ – A pop-up list of your current collection of plans appears.  Scroll through the list until you find the second plan. Tap it.
  • After only a few seconds, the waypoints will appear in order at the end of your current plan.
  • Tap the Edit Mode icon once again to exit that mode.
  • Continue your flight planning.
  • Enjoy!

 

AvPlan EFB 5.2

AvPlan EFB 5.2 is now available from the Apple App Store as a free update for all users. We have made significant performance improvements across the board. Users with Retina devices will really notice the greater mapping speed.

We’ve made significant improvements to our live weather radar overlay (see below). The IR satellite overlay is more frequently updated – now once per hour. AvPlan EFB’s weather options are unrivalled anywhere, and we’ve got some really useful additions in the pipeline.

New Weather Overlays

In addition we have added some new weather overlays;

  • Forecast freezing level (worldwide)
  • Forecast surface pressure (worldwide)

Both of these overlays are updated every 6 hours and are valid up to 72 hours in the future. With winter well underway in New Zealand and the southern states of Australia, the new freezing level visualisation is an incredibly useful addition.

MegaZoom Improvements

Pro users will also notice that the super-zoom function on the Mega charts is also improved – you now don’t need the charts downloaded for the airport diagrams to appear. We’ve also increased the resolution of the terrain information so our patented glide calculator and glide envelope display are more accurate in areas of high terrain.

iLevil 2 SW Support

AvPlan EFB 5.2 now includes support for the iLevil 2 SW. In Australia we support the GPS and ADSB-IN functions. With the iLevil connected to your iPad (via Wifi) the iPad will receive ADSB traffic information and use the iLevil as a GPS source.

New Aircraft Icons

To celebrate 5AVN getting their new F model Chinooks, we have added a Chinook icon to AvPlan EFB. Just for fun we have also added a Paul Bennet Airshows Wolf Pitts as well (and its inverted when looking at the flight profile view).

Other Changes

AvPlan EFB 5.2 is now completely 64 bit, so it runs a whole lot faster on newer, 64 bit capable devices.

We’ve fixed a number of issues in this release as well;

  • Issues with some flight plans being rejected with AvPlan Live enabled has been resolved
  • Issues with long flight plans being rejected in New Zealand have been resolved
  • You can enable a setting to preserve the simulator state across application launches
  • Fixes to the fuel label colour coding, so prices outside the viewing area are not displayed
  • Better handling of the nearest airport label when the Airport Glide Range is selected
  • Fixes to the radar controls when an airport diagram is overlaid on the map
  • Fixes for the Velocity weather point queries
  • Lots of performance improvements on the maps
  • Print the last page of an airport ERSA entry
  • Improved caching of the radar view

 

Weather Radar

We pride ourselves in the breadth and quality of our weather data in AvPlan EFB. Our weather radar overlay has had a renovation making the animations smoother. All weather overlays include the update time in both absolute time and the amount of time between that image and now. The radar overlay is as live as possible – the newest image is within 3-7 minutes old. Data is sourced directly from the BoM and reprocessed for consumption within AvPlan EFB. Included are a set of controls so the animation can be paused, and stepped forward and backward.

 

METAR Overlay – how to turn them on and what do they mean?

METARs are those coloured little circles on the map you may have seen when you first started AvPlan EFB.  They are a great way of getting weather information at a glance, and consist of three parts:

  1. The circle (location)
  2. The wind vector (tail)
  3. The wind strength (feathers)

You can turn them on or off by selecting METARs in the Weather Overlay menu.  This is the RADAR icon, in the top right of the En Route pane.

First, lets talk about the circle.  These display in five different colours, depending on the conditions:

  • Green:  VFR
  • Blue: Marginal VFR (eg. < 2500′ AGL cloud base)
  • Yellow: IFR (eg. < 1000′ AGL cloud base)
  • Red: Low IFR  (eg. < 600′ AGL cloud base)

You also may have noticed the grey METARs as well?  They are weather stations that don’t have visual/cloud sensing capabilities.  These may only report wind and QNH.

Next, the wind direction.  Each METAR points into wind (or, to put it another way – the wind tail is on the upwind side of the station).  Usually, these are black in colour – however, if the wind tail turns red, it denotes that a SPECI report is current for that station, not just a regularly scheduled report.

Finally, the wind speed bars (or the ‘feathers’).  Each full bar denotes ten knots of peak wind speed.  Partial bars can also be present, combining with the full bars (up to four full bars and one partial) to display the wind speed at a glance.  For example, one-and-a-half bars would mean ?15 knots.  Three-and-a-half bars would mean ?35 knots.  The partial bars can also be a little smaller depending on the last digit in the wind speed.

But what happens if it’s above 50 knots, I hear you ask?  Well, the four bars become a black triangle.  That’s when it’s really windy!

If you wish to read the full METAR text for any station, simply tap the circle and the METAR will appear as the first listing within the ‘Nearest Items’ list.

METARs_Explained_Web

 

iOS 8.4 and Bluetooth GPS devices

iOS 8.4 is now available and we have confirmed it resolves connectivity issues with external bluetooth GPS devices.

To update to iOS 8.4, open Settings on your iPad or iPhone. Tap General, Software Update.