Bits and Pieces
Electronics Corner - ForeFlight Mobile
By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA #657159
ForeFlight Map on iPhone
Many of you may have heard of, or even subscribe to, ForeFlight. If you're like me - interested but unwilling to pay up front for something I may not use - you may be interested in ForeFlight Mobile's 30-day trial. You can download the trial at the Apple app store. It doesn't appear to be available for Android devices yet, but it is available for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
You can download charts, make and file flight plans, and get real-time weather maps. You can even purchase a $799 device called Stratus that will download Nexrad weather in flight. It may seem expensive, but the Nexrad service is free; the price is a one-time payment and may be an excellent deal for you if you fly regularly in the United States. Subscription choices begin at $74.99 for basic, $149.99 for the pro version, and $24.99 for three months of the basic version. The pro version adds the ability to use geo-referenced approach plates and airport diagrams for the U.S. (but not Canada) so if you are planning on using it to fly only in Canada you might want to save some money by getting the basic version.
You can get several different weather maps including Nav Canada Graphical, Radar Echo Tops, and Radar Precipitation maps for your chosen region.
For those of you who use a flight simulator to rehearse your flights, or simply to go flying when the weather is unsuitable, X-Plane, the favourite flight simulator for people who like to input their own aircraft, is capable of interfacing with Foreflight. You are basically feeding GPS data from the flight simulator to Foreflight so it tracks your flight and give you the same experience that you would have if you were really flying.
On the economic side, having ready access to current information about airports and maps that you don't have to fold is really great, as well as most information found in the CFS. One caveat that should be mentioned is that my local airport has right hand circuits for runway 23, a fact which is completely ignored in Foreflight's airport data apart from confusing and conflicting information in "remarks" and "comments". Just be careful when transitioning to electronic replacements for the good old standards. A current CFS is a requirement.