ForeFlight Mobile 6 is now available for download from the App Store. This release is full of new features and sets the stage for even more to come. This update brings a refined interface throughout the app, a new Profile view, additions to flight plan filing capabilities, enhancements to Stratus, and more. Please note this update requires iOS 7.1 or higher. Here are the new features in detail:
Refine has been a theme for us and so we have gone through every page and view of the app to create a more consistent interface with better readability and contrast, without fundamentally changing the app experience. Here are some screen shots to help compare the previous look with the new refinements (click on the first image to start the carousel):
No Sneak Peaks With Profile View
The new Profile view takes our Hazard Advisor feature into vertical mode and gives you a side view of terrain and obstacles along your planned route. With dynamic color alerting you will know at a glance whether your selected altitude will keep you clear of terrain and obstacle hazards. In flight, Profile shows your current altitude in relation to obstacles or terrain ahead of your track. Profile is a ForeFlight Pro and iPad only feature.
Here’s a video to walk you through the new Profile feature:
To get started with Profile, open the NavLog/Route Editor box. You will see the new mode option in the lower right:
Planning With Profile
To use Profile for flight planning, begin by entering a departure and destination into the editor and tap the Profile button to view the vertical cross-section of your route. Tap and drag the altitude box up and down to adjust your altitude and you will see the dynamic interaction with obstacles and terrain.
Along the top of the Profile box, you will see three values to help you plan your route clear of hazards:
- Highest is the height of the highest terrain or obstacle along your route.
- Clearance is the amount of vertical clearance you have over that highest terrain or obstacle along your route.
- First Strike is the distance in nautical miles from your origin or current position where your first impact with terrain or an obstacle would be based on your current planned altitude.
The text color (and terrain color) changes according to our standard hazard alerting feature: yellow for terrain or obstacle between 1000’ and 100’ below your aircraft and red for higher hazards.
The middle band of the Profile is the graphical depiction of your route. The Profile automatically scales to show your entire route. You can zoom in and out with a two-finger pinch and spread gesture; pan by swiping left or right; drag the altitude box up and down to adjust the altitude. If your proposed altitude intersects an obstacle or terrain ahead, the sky area will change from blue to red at the point of first strike.
To make planning easier, the altitude selected in Profile mode is reflected back in the Edit view.
Routes within North America will display obstacles along your route depicted as thick vertical lines that change color based on your clearance height. Be sure to download obstacle and terrain data for offline use in the Download manager.
Waypoints along your route are depicted as white vertical lines and the waypoint name appears along the bottom of the Profile view.
You can also view the Profile of a ruler selection on the Maps view. Activate the ruler with a touch-hold gesture with two fingers on the Map. The Profile view will change to encompass just the area of the ruler. Tap away from the ruler to reset the Profile.
Touch-hold with one finger in the Profile to display the clearance tool. Drag your finger across the profile to see your clearance at each point along the route. As you do that, notice that the “dot” progresses along your route line and its color changes to reflect the hazard clearance at that point.
Profile In Flight
Once you are airborne (> 40 knots), the Profile offers two inflight modes:
- Aircraft mode abbreviates the Profile to display 50 nautical miles ahead on your track.
- Route mode displays your entire planned route.
These modes are selectable via the Profile mode controller. In flight, the Aircraft mode continuously updates AGL and MSL values as you fly along.
You will also see two new instruments in the HUD: Height AGL and Height MEF. Height MEF (or dynamic Maximum Elevation Figure) is similar to VFR MEF and tells you the height of the highest obstacle or terrain within a 0.5 degree box around your current position.
Please note that Profile requires that you download obstacle and terrain data for offline use.
More Ways to File Smarter With Amend, Close, Cancel, and Activate Options
ForeFlight 6 builds on our integration with Lockheed Martin AFSS and we now offer you the ability to Activate and Close VFR flight plans, and Amend and Cancel both VFR and IFR flight plans, directly from the app.
One tip for streamlining your workflow is to Amend your IFR flight plan based on the expected route clearance update you receive via Flight Alerts (a ForeFlight Pro feature). Refiling with your expected route will set you up to be cleared as filed when you contact ATC. That’s less stress in the cockpit compared to copying down a new clearance.
Please note that amend, cancel, close, and activate via ForeFlight Mobile is not currently available with plans filed via DUATS.
New Stratus Features
ForeFlight 6 also comes with a free firmware upgrade for the Stratus 2 which will enable two new features: a split screen attitude indicator view and Stratus Replay. Extending iPad battery life is an important consideration, and the biggest battery savers are turning off the screen and turning down the brightness. Stratus Replay can effectively double the battery life of your iPad by allowing you to turn off the screen between uses. When the screen is turned on again, Stratus automatically sends ForeFlight any ADS-B weather that was missed, including radar, METARs, TAFs and PIREPs. This is helpful on a long cross country, offering 6+ hour battery life for your iPad and Stratus.
Stratus Replay is only available on Stratus 2, however Animated ADS-B radar is available to both ForeFlight Standard and Pro subscribers and on Stratus 1 and 2. Also note that ADS-B weather (and Stratus) requires iPad 2 or newer or iPhone 4 or newer.
Stratus’s built-in Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) drives the new split-screen attitude indicator view, providing backup attitude information to ForeFlight–complete with pitch, bank, ground speed, track and altitude. The attitude indicator updates multiple times per second so it moves smoothly, and it can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. While Stratus’s automatic AHRS calibration works in most cases, there are in app options for manual adjustment.
With these features, you can now view ADS-B weather, traffic, moving map and attitude all on the same screen.
ForeFlight 6 is a free update from the App Store and is available to all current subscribers. Click here for instructions on updating to the latest version.