Awesome. The original tweet is here.
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ForeFlight Mobile 4.5.1 is available for download in the App Store. This release includes a bug fix to prevent charts and plates from needing to be re-downloaded after app update.
This is a free update for current subscribers. Click here for instructions on updating to the latest version.
ForeFlight Mobile 4.5 is now available for download from App Store! This substantial update includes support for Stratus, the portable ADS-B weather receiver announced at Sun ‘n Fun less than a month ago. Stratus starts shipping on April 23.
More information about Stratus is available on our website, on Appareo’s website, and in the Stratus Pilot’s Guide. Additionally, Flying Magazine’s Robert Goyer flew with Stratus across central Texas last week and posted a report – along with a gallery of 18 screenshots - on the Flying Magazine website.
If you are ready to fly with Stratus, place an order with Sporty’s.
Stratus is a great step forward for low cost in-flight weather. Because Stratus is battery powered, wire-free, portable, and affordable, a wide range of aircraft and pilots flying without an in-flight weather option will benefit from a continuous stream of free-of-charge weather and flight information fed to the iPad – all made possible by the FAA’s ADS-B network, ForeFlight, and Stratus.
Ultimately, we believe that the proliferation of affordable, portable ADS-B solutions for FIS-B display will help pilots be more productive in the cockpit and better informed, leaving more time to look out the window and enjoy the view.
Supports All FIS-B Products
ForeFlight Mobile 4.5 supports all FIS-B products transmitted by the ADS-B network. This includes high resolution regional NEXRAD, CONUS NEXRAD, METARs, TAFs, winds aloft, PIREPs, SUA information, TFRs, and NOTAMs. For information about how frequently each product is broadcast, consult the Stratus Pilots’ Guide. Frequently asked questions are also addressed on our Stratus page, at http://www.foreflight.com/stratus.
4.5 delivers an array of additional enhancements, such as direct to route search syntax, estimated time of departure offsets for routes, naming favorite routes, map performance enhancements, and enhancements to the altitude rules in the File & Brief view.
4.5 makes inputting a route direct from current location simple. For example, if you want to fly from current position direct to KSFO airport, enter this in the route search box:
The “D” in front of the identifier instructs the map to compute a course from your present location to the identifier, updating trip times, ETA, and fuel.
Estimated Departure Time
If you want to plan a flight with a time of departure in the future – and take advantage of forecast weather for that departure time – you can now specify an offset from the current time or an actual time of departure in the route search box. ForeFlight Mobile will use the estimated time of departure and factor in winds aloft forecasts valid for the departure time and total trip length. ForeFlight Mobile will also transfer the ETD to the flight plan filing form as well as to logbook applications like LogTen Pro. Here are some examples of supported formats:
Naming Favorite Routes
From the nav log on the Maps screen, you can now name your favorite routes. First, plan a flight using the input box on the maps screen, then tap “Favorite”. A prompt will appear asking for a name to assign this route. The name is optional; however, if a name is provided, you’ll see that named route appear in the favorite routes list.
Flight Plan Altitudes
The File & Brief view no longer enforces cardinal cruise altitude rules for flights under 4,100′ MSL. This enhancement is to allow more flexibility for pilots flying down low or in the SFRA.
ForeFlight Mobile 4.5 is a free update for current subscribers. Click here for instructions on updating to the latest version. Please review the updated Pilot’s Guide for more detailed information, available on our website or inside the app in the Documents view. This release also includes important bug fixes, and we recommend that all customers update.
Apr 29, 2013 NOTE: ForeFlight Mobile was updated to show ADS-B traffic data (as of v5.1). ADS-B Out adoption has grown over the last year, but all of the cautions from this post still apply. Read on to learn about how the ADS-B traffic system works, and why having ADS-B Out installed in your airplane is critical to getting useful traffic data.
Many pilots today – in our booth at Sun ‘n Fun and on Facebook and Twitter – have asked about whether or not the Stratus and ForeFlight Mobile support traffic.
Firstly, Stratus does receive the traffic stream. However, ForeFlight Mobile does not to display it, and here’s why:
You’re flying along and an aircraft passes by. No alert. Another aircraft passes by, no alert. Then another, and another, and another. No alerts. Occasionally, you get an alert. But for the most part, day in and day out, traffic passes by, no alerts. In pretty short order, you lose confidence in your portable ADS-B “traffic” system.
Without certified ADS-B “Out” equipment in your airplane, the narrative above is likely to be your experience if your aircraft is not ADS-B “Out” equipped. ADS-B ground stations only send out traffic information when a properly equipped aircraft “pings” the station. To ping, an aircraft needs certified ADS-B avionics installed that are permitted to ping, receive air-to-air traffic broadcasts, and send traffic information into the national airspace system computers. This ping ability is essentially enabled by what is referred to as “ADS-B Out”. Stratus is ADS-B In only, and does not provide ADS-B Out capability.
In response to ADS-B Out pings, an ADS-B ground station sends back traffic data in a hockey puck-shaped area centered around the transmitting aircraft. Ground stations aren’t always broadcasting traffic data – they transmit that when an ADS-B Out signal is received.
The “puck” sent is a customized set of traffic data – targets consisting of any aircraft transmitting ADS-B Out, Mode A/S/C, or targets being picked up by radar – observed within a 15nm radius of the ADS-B Out equipped aircraft’s current position (plus or minus 3,500′ in relative altitude).
If your aircraft is not equipped to “ping” you would only receive traffic data centered around other ADS-B Out equipped aircraft that happened to be nearby. If you are on the fringe of that other aircraft’s puck, you’d be more than half blind. Since there are few aircraft currently equipped with ADS-B Out, this “blindness” would be a very common situation.
Traffic on a portable ADS-B weather receiver creates a potentially dangerous false sense of security for pilots flying without ADS-B Out. They would not be seeing the whole traffic picture.
As we get closer to 2020, ADS-B out adoption will grow. However, until ADS-B Out adoption is more widespread, ForeFlight Mobile will not be showing traffic data from the system to avoid this situation.
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