New aviation apps announced
August 24, 2012, 12:42 pm
More aviation technology companies are taking advantage of smartphones and tablets, releasing applications that pilots can use while in the air. The applications have been used for a wide variety of tools, from flight training to predicting dangerous weather conditions in upcoming flight paths.
Just this year, Garmin released its Pilot app that displays subscription-free weather and ADS-B datalink traffic information, ZuluLog.com released an app that features a standalone logbook, CFI Tools added to its aviation application with is CFI Tools Flight Recorder and Boeing debuted its Milestones in Innovation application.
More recently, ApDeV announced VORILS, a new smartphone app that assists pilots who practice VHF omnidirectional radio range and Instrument Landing Systems procedures.
The realistic appearance of the app allows pilots to practice the procedures without leaving the ground. With the app they can input longitude and latitude, threshold elevation, runway bearing and desired glideslope angle to position the Virtual Landing Systems to specific locations.
"Practicing VOR and ILS procedures can be costly for pilots who happen to be some distance from the nearest beacon or ILS-equipped airport," said Richard Jolly, creator of VORILS and founder of ApDeV. "Initially, I developed VORILS as an affordable training aid for myself, but decided to release it to the market following requests from other pilots in the same situation. For the past six months we have been developing the app and I believe it now offers the functionality which is needed by pilots training on instrument procedures."
FlightView also recently released an application, deciding to focus on the untapped Android market.
“There are a number of apps that are optimized for the iPad,” Katherine Wellmen, FlighView's vice president of product management, told Mass High Tech. “There aren’t many apps optimized at all for Android, and there are even fewer travel apps.”
This application allows pilots to access Federal Aviation Administration radar data feed information in coordination with airlines' flight takeoff, landing and delay information. The source cited a survey that found more than 36 percent of travelers now use tablets while in the air. Company officials said they may consider an app for the iPad in the future, but until then they will look to enhance the existing application with more features and updates.
Pilots should also look into pilot life insurance. New applications are useful but only insurance will cover benefactors in the event of an emergency.
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