Canada VNC, Heli Charts, Distance Rings and Doc Search Land in App Store

Just in time for AirVenture 2013, the latest update from ForeFlight is in the App Store. ForeFlight Mobile 5.2 – our fifth major update of the year – brings an exciting range of features:

  • NAV CANADA Visual Navigation Charts (VNC) and Visual Terminal Area (VTA) charts
  • FAA Helicopter and Gulf of Mexico VFR/IFR charts
  • Document Search
  • Distance Rings
  • Redesigned FBO view

Hey, Canada!

As a result of our expanded relationship with NAV CANADA, we are excited to announced the availability of digital Visual Navigation Charts (VNC) and Visual Terminal Area (VTA) charts in ForeFlight Mobile. The new Canada VNC map layer shows the entire mosaic of VNCs, with VTAs automatically appearing as you zoom into bigger metropolitan areas.  These charts can be downloaded to your iPad or iPhone for offline use.  The VNC and VTA charts are geo-referenced and optimized for display on the iPad and have a unique new feature: the ability to dynamically hide or show chart legends and change the stacking of charts to maximize clarity of chart features.

The complete set of VNC, VTA, IFR enroute (low and high) charts, and Canadian Air Pilot (CAP) are included with the ForeFlight Canada subscription, $149.99 USD per year.  Pilots can purchase or add Canadian coverage at  Pilots who already have an existing ForeFlight Canada subscription can immediately start downloading VNC charts upon upgrading to ForeFlight Mobile 5.2 – the new data is included in the existing Canada plan.


FAA Helicopter and Gulf Charts

ForeFlight Mobile 5.2 also brings additional chart coverage to U.S. pilots: FAA Helicopter, Gulf of Mexico VFR, and Gulf of Mexico IFR charts.  Enable these map layers by going to More -> Downloads, tap on “United States” in the top Download Settings, then set Helicopter Charts to ON.  Go back to Maps and you’ll see the new layers in the map selector:

FAA Helicopter

Flight Bag Tiles

The VNC and Helicopter map layers allow you to dynamically hide or show chart margins and change the stacking of charts. These capabilities are made possible by packaging the charts in the Flight Bag Tiles (“FBTiles”) database format, an open database specification invented by ForeFlight for packaging geo-referenced charts for use in mobile, desktop, and web applications. The FBTiles specification is free for app makers, website developers, and national Aeronautical Information Publishers (“AIPs”) to use in order to accelerate digital charting initiatives. The specification will appear on GitHub next week.

Flight Bag Tiles

Currently, Flight Bag Tiles are only available for the Canada VNC, U.S. Helicopter, Heli Gulf VFR, and Heli Gulf IFR map layers.  To enable chart legends for these layers, tap the Map settings gear icon and set Chart Legends to ON.  Simply single-tap on a chart to see its legend.  Only one chart legend can be viewed at a time.

Distance Rings

Enabled in Settings, the new Distance Rings feature displays 3 concentric rings around your aircraft’s current location, allowing you to quickly get a sense of distance to features around you.  Based on either time or distance values, the rings give quick estimates for time enroute or nautical miles to a nearby storm cell, traffic target, shoreline, or anything else shown on the Map.

Green arrows on the rings animate smoothly to show your current track along the ground, providing yet another indication of where you’ll be in the future, and when.  There’s even an automatic scale setting that keeps the rings in view as you zoom in and out on the Maps.  From 2nm to 2000, the rings will provide a continuous reference from your aircraft.

Distance Rings

Document Search and Named Bookmarks

We completely revamped the Document Engine on the iPad to make it faster and more feature-filled.  Tap on the new magnifying glass to display the search window then start typing.  The search is extremely speedy, even in multi-hundred page documents like NOTAMs.

Document Search

When creating a new bookmark for a document, you can now give it a name to help you easily locate it later.  You can also pinch-to-close documents for quickly accessing your binder.

Redesigned FBO View

We also redesigned the FBO view to present more detailed information about facilities and amenities at your local airport.

ForeFlight FBO View

Additional features and bug fixes

  • Navlog column setting (Totals Only, Leg Only, or Both)
  • Direct connection for Bad Elf Pro GPS & Bad Elf Plug-in GPS to bypass iOS 6 GPS problems
  • Ownship vector improvements
  • Bug fix for “best winds” in pattern advisor
  • Bug fix for map tiles above 75 deg latitude
  • Bug fix for winds aloft for routes in northern latitudes

How to Update

This is a free update for all existing ForeFlight Mobile subscribers.  Click here for instructions on updating via App Store.  This update also includes important bug fixes, and we recommend all customers update. Please read the latest Pilot’s Guide to ForeFlight Mobile, updated for this latest version, for important tips on flying safely with ForeFlight Mobile.