Our August release features a new capability to select from multiple climb and descent performance profiles, multiple climb and descent performance profiles for some aircraft, and more aircraft types supported for Runway Analysis!
Edit Climb & Descent Performance Profiles
Increase the accuracy of time and fuel calculations by adjusting climb and descent performance profiles to suit your aircraft’s actual performance.
Each aircraft type that supports built-in ForeFlight Performance Profiles has climb, cruise, and descent profiles based on manufacturer data. Previously, only cruise profiles supported biasing of time and fuel flow. Now, climb and descent profiles support biasing of time and fuel, giving you more control over how ForeFlight calculates these factors for every flight.
Tap into the Performance Profile menu from the Aircraft, Flights, or Maps views to see a list of all climb, cruise, and descent profiles for the selected aircraft. Tap the Details button or the profile itself to access the bias adjustments.
Multiple Climb & Descent Performance Profiles
In addition to the ability to bias climb and descent profiles, a number of popular jet aircraft now also support multiple climb and descent profiles.
Several dozen aircraft models from Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, and Gulfstream provide multiple climb and descent profiles in ForeFlight. Each is built using manufacturer-sourced data in accordance with the profiles in each aircraft’s Pilot’s Operating Handbook.
The “Apply Bias to All Climb/Descent Profiles” button within each profile’s details view allows you to quickly apply one profile’s bias values to all other climb or descent profiles for that aircraft.
New Runway Analysis Aircraft Support
ForeFlight’s Runway Analysis product for jets now supports Gulfstream’s GV, GVII-G600, and G450, and Bombardier’s Learjet 60XR and 35A. See the full list of supported aircraft types here.
Runway Analysis is available for a growing list of aircraft types and can be purchased alongside a ForeFlight Performance subscription plan.
Dispatch has continued receiving update after update this summer and fall, expanding its capabilities and feature set even further to help flight departments operate more efficiently. Check out our lasttwo blog posts to learn about previous Dispatch enhancements.
Editable Flight Releases
Flight planners in Dispatch can release new flights to pilots in one of two modes – Read-Only or Editable – greatly enhancing Dispatch’s potential for collaborative flight planning and supporting self-dispatching pilots. Additionally, Dispatch’s settings allow account administrators to force all flight releases to use either of the two modes, ensuring that the same release mode is used for all flight plans.
By default, flight planners can release flights in either mode. Once a flight is ready for release, click the Release button in the bottom-right corner of the Flight Edit view or from the list of quick actions on the Flights List to open the Release Flight popup. If both release modes are available, select one and click Release Flight to release it using that mode.
Flight plans released as editable appear on crew members’ devices just like other flight releases, but all the fields in the flight plan are editable. Any changes to the flight plan made by an assigned crew member will be reflected both in Dispatch and on the devices of any other assigned crew members.
ForeFlight account admins can access two different settings for flight releases at the bottom of the Dispatch Planning Settings menu. “Release Mode” sets the default mode for flight releases – either Read Only or Locked – and “Lock Release Mode” determines whether flight planners can use either release mode for a flight or must use the default mode set above.
Not all flight plans can be released as editable. If a flight contains features not fully supported in ForeFlight Mobile, such as ETP/ETOPS planning, the editable release option is grayed out in the Release Flight popup, and a warning message indicates why that mode is unavailable.
Not all flight plans can be released as editable. If a flight contains features not fully supported in ForeFlight Mobile, such as ETP/ETOPS planning, the editable release option is grayed out in the Release Flight popup, and a warning message indicates why that mode is unavailable.
Automated Flight Releases
Dispatch can automatically release flight plans to assigned crew members, relieving flight planners of this routine task so they can turn their attention to other flights. ForeFlight account administrators can enable this feature in the Automation section of Dispatch Settings, which also includes the Auto Refresh Settings for automatically updating performance calculations and the briefing package before a flight.
Access the Auto Release settings in the Schedule API section. The “Release at” setting determines how many hours prior to the flight’s planned departure the flight will be released to crew members. Automatic flight releases will use the default release mode specified at the bottom of the Planning Settings list as described above.
Keep interested parties who aren’t crew members up to speed on the status of a flight by adding them as Flight Watchers. Access the Flight Watchers section in each flight’s ATC Data tab and add one or more email addresses to send them the same notifications about the flight as the assigned crew members.
Procedure Advisor in Dispatch
Easily add departure and arrival procedures to a route in Dispatch using Procedure Advisor, which is similar in most ways to the capability in ForeFlight Mobile’s Maps view with a few key differences. After entering or selecting a route from the Routes list, click the Procedure Advisor button just below the Route Builder button.
Switch between SIDs and STARs using the buttons in the top-left and select any procedure in the list below to see it previewed in the interactive map on the right. If multiple transitions are available for a procedure you can select those from the “Enroute Transition” section in the bottom-left. Click the Chart button to view any procedure’s plate in a new tab. With a procedure selected, click Apply in the bottom-left to add the procedure to your planned route.
Like Procedure Advisor in ForeFlight Mobile, each procedure in the list uses colored labels to indicate which aircraft types are approved to fly it. Unlike in ForeFlight Mobile, Procedure Advisor in Dispatch includes procedures that may only be assigned by ATC, which you can preview on the map by clicking the View button, but cannot add them to your route string. Procedure Advisor in Dispatch also does not support approach procedures, traffic pattern entries, or search and rescue patterns like on the mobile app.
Specific Load Planning
Dial in Dispatch’s time and fuel burn calculations even further with Specific Load planning that offers finer control over crew and passenger weights. Switch between Simple and Specific Load modes using the buttons at the top of the Load section. While Simple mode limits you to a single average weight to be multiplied by the number of people on board, Specific mode breaks out six types of people – Pilots, Cabin Attendants, Males, Females, Children, and Infants – each with their own customizable average weight.
The number of pilots and cabin attendants is automatically carried over from the Crew section, and you can specify the numbers and average weights of the other categories, and the average weights of crew members. The Cargo field and “Use max load” button are also available at the bottom of the Specific Load list.
ForeFlight account administrators can set default weights for all of these categories in the Planning Settings view of Dispatch Settings. These default values are automatically applied to every new flight in Dispatch, but flight planners can still adjust them on a per-flight basis.
Dispatch highlights significant NOTAMs and weather affecting airports in your route, such as a closed runway or Low IFR conditions, with Flight Advisories. These automatically appear in the Flight Advisories section just above the Route Map, and a red label indicates the current number of advisories to draw attention even when the section is collapsed. Expand the section to view the individual advisories, and click the highlighted text beneath each one to view relevant details, such as weather and NOTAM information.
New Operational Rules: Call Sign & Aircraft Type
Automatically add a call sign to any flight that meets certain criteria, including the assigned aircraft’s type code. All operational rules are accessible in the Operational Rules tab in Dispatch Settings. Select the Call Sign rule type and enter the call sign to be applied, then use the Departure, Destination, Tail Number, and/or Aircraft Type fields on the right to set the criteria for when to apply the call sign. The criteria may involve all four fields, or only one or two. Any flight that meets the criteria will have the call sign automatically added in the Flight Edit view, although you can remove or change this call sign manually on a per-flight basis. Click Add to associate that call sign with the criteria, then enter additional call signs or click “Add rule” on the right to finalize and implement the new operational rule, which appears in the list below.
Date/Time Format Settings
Customize how Dispatch displays dates and times to suit your flight department. ForeFlight account administrators can access these settings at the top of the Planning Settings page in Dispatch Settings. The “Date format” setting determines whether Dispatch displays dates using the US format (Month/Day/Year) or the International format (Day/Month/Year). The “Time zone format” setting determines whether Dispatch displays time zones using the abbreviated local names (e.g. EDT, CST, CEST, ect.) or using an offset from GMT (e.g. GMT-6, GMT+3, etc.).
API Improvements and API Release History
The ForeFlight team is constantly enhancing Dispatch’s APIs to offer greater flexibility and efficiency when importing newly-scheduled flights and sharing flight information with other applications. The most notable recent improvement is the API Console, a new tab just to the right of Settings where Dispatch administrators can access API Keys (previously included in the Settings tab) and the new Request History page. Request History provides a detailed view into the automated requests and responses sent via Dispatch’s API, allowing you to easily check on the health of your integrations and investigate any issues that arise. Learn more about Request History and the API Console tab in the Dispatch guide.
Although these behind-the-scenes improvements are less visible than regular new features, they can offer just as much value to those who understand and utilize them. To that end, we’ve created an API Release History page on ForeFlight’s website that provides details on all major API improvements and when they were implemented. And don’t forget that the entire Dispatch API specification is available on Swagger.
We’ve continued updating Dispatch since the last post to expand its capabilities even further, with new highly-requested features like Custom Airports, global RAIM prediction, expanded map layers, and more.
Unlock flight planning to and from any location you want by defining your own custom airports that can be used just like regular airports. Account admins can access the Custom Airports page in Dispatch Settings. From here you can view the details of all custom airports on your account so far, delete any of them, and create new custom airports.
Every custom airport is defined simply by a unique four-letter identifier, a name, and a set of lat/long coordinates. When adding a new custom airport you can either enter or paste these coordinates into the proper text field manually, or use the built-in map to zoom in on the airport’s location and right click to mark the coordinates.
In addition to the admin-only Custom Airports view, any flight planner or pilot in Dispatch can add a custom airport right from the Flight Edit view. Start typing in any of the airport fields to see the “Add a custom airport” button appear at the bottom of the drop-down, and click it to add the new airport’s remaining details and save it to the account. You can then immediately use that custom airport for the flight plan. When you file a flight plan to or from a custom airport, Dispatch automatically provides the airport’s coordinates and name in the proper fields of the ICAO filing form, allowing you to file the flight plan as easily as you would with known airports.
Global RAIM Prediction
Dispatch now supports receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (RAIM) analysis for flight plans anywhere in the world, not just in the U.S. A new setting switch in the Dispatch Settings menu allows you to set RAIM to be U.S.-only or Worldwide. With Worldwide RAIM enabled, the Dispatch briefing package includes a new page containing details about the calculation and any predicted outages for both your departure and destination airports.
Route Map Improvements
Dispatch’s Route Map includes new map layers that provide information about airport-specific weather like Surface Winds, Visibility, Ceiling, and more. These layers are all derived from each airport’s latest METAR, so they’re available for any airport reporting METARs anywhere in the world.
The Route Map also includes new government chart layers for the U.S., Canada, and Europe, based on which regions are included in your ForeFlight subscription. Both VFR and IFR High/Low charts are included for each region, bringing Dispatch’s Route Map more in line with the capability of the mobile app.
Lastly, you can now collapse the Performance table just above the Route Map in the Flight Edit view by clicking the caret button on the left. The Route Map then expands upward to fill the space, allowing flight planners to work with a larger map.
New Operational Rules: Type of Flight & Avoid FIR
Dispatch supports two new types of Operational Rules to give account administrators more centralized control over flights planned in Dispatch. The “Type of Flight” rule allows you to determine what flight category certain flights must be filed under. Options include G – General Aviation, N – Non-scheduled, S – Scheduled, M – Military, and X – Other. Any flights matching the rule’s criteria (departure airport, destination airport, and/or aircraft tail number) will automatically use the selected flight type, but flight planners can manually change it if needed.
The second new rule is adapted from the “Avoid FIR” route constraint used to generate a Recommended Route that avoids certain airspace. Click the Airspaces dropdown on the right and scroll through the list of FIRs, or search by FIR name, identifier, or country, selecting all the FIRs you want to include in the rule. After defining the rule’s criteria and saving it, any flights matching the criteria will automatically adopt the Avoid FIR route constraint for all the FIRs you defined.
Since launching late last year Dispatch has already gained numerous new features and workflow improvements to help flight departments plan, collaborate, and monitor flights more efficiently. From flight attachments and more prominent weather information to flexible crew assignments, change tracking, and more, every week brings significant enhancements, and we’re not planning to slow down any time soon. Read on to learn about each new and improved feature and how they can benefit your operation.
Want to learn more about ForeFlight Dispatch? Visit foreflight.com/dispatch or sign up for a personalized demo with a ForeFlight Sales representative here.
Attach Flight Documents from Dispatch
Building on the introduction of the Files in Flights capability to ForeFlight late last year, flight planners can now attach documents to flights right from Dispatch and deliver them to assigned crew members in seconds. Attach PDFs, images, Microsoft Word documents, and many other file types to make them accessible right in ForeFlight for viewing and printing before the flight.
Click the Files tab at the top of a flight in Dispatch and click the plus button to browse for files to add, or simply drag and drop files from your computer’s file explorer to upload them to the flight. Dispatch supports uploading files of 25MB or less using any of the following file types: pdf, tiff, tif, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp, bmpf, doc, docx, xlsx, pptx, ppt, csv.
Information about uploaded documents appears below the upload button, including each document’s name, date created, date last updated, and the type of the file (e.g. pdf, csv, etc.). You can rename attached files by clicking the pencil button to the right of each file’s name, which will also update the file’s name in ForeFlight Mobile. Click Download on the right to download the file to your computer (helpful if the file was uploaded by someone else), and click Delete to permanently remove the file from the flight.
Any file that you upload to a flight will appear in the Files tab on ForeFlight’s Flights view for any crew members assigned to the flight (excluding ad-hoc crew members who are not part of your ForeFlight account – read more about ad-hoc crew members below). A red dot appears on the Files tab when new documents are added. Crew members can view the documents and share or print them.
By-Leg Altitude Changes in Route Builder
Dispatch’s Route Builder now supports changes in cruise altitude between different legs of a flight, allowing you to take advantage of more favorable winds, comply with airspace restrictions, and more. After selecting a route on the Flight Edit page, click the Route Builder button to view the list of waypoints on the left.
Every waypoint that isn’t part of a procedure (departure, arrival, or approach) has an Edit button to its right that you can use to change the flight’s altitude at that waypoint. Set the new altitude on the left using the up/down arrow buttons or by typing in a new altitude, expressed as a flight level.
The dropdown menu to the right lets you select how the new altitude will be applied to the flight: “Until waypoint” applies the new altitude to every editable waypoint up to and including the current waypoint without changing the altitudes of subsequent waypoint, while “After waypoint” applies the new altitude to every waypoint including and after the current one, leaving previous waypoints the same. Click the check button to confirm the changes and apply the new altitude, or click the cancel button to discard any altitude changes for that waypoint.
Waypoints that are part of the flight’s climb or descent won’t update their altitudes to match new altitudes for cruise waypoints, but they will update to reflect a new climb or descent profile as required by changes to the flight’s cruise altitude.
Click back to the Flight Edit page and the new altitude changes are listed beneath the Selected Route field. The altitude changes are also reflected in ForeFlight’s Briefing and Navlog, ensuring that the flight’s crew members can view them once the flight is released.
More Prominent Airport Weather Information
To help flight planners quickly assess current and forecast weather that could impact a flight, Dispatch now provides important weather information in multiple easy-to-access places.
On the main Flights List, click on the airport identifier in either the Departure or Destination column to view a new popup showing the airport’s latest METAR, TAF, and NOTAMs sorted in reverse-chronological order. Click the button at the bottom of this popup to bring you to the Dispatch Airport Information page for comprehensive information about each airport. Also on the Flights List, any airport with low IFR conditions expected at the time of your flight (based on a METAR or TAF) will show a purple LIFR label next to the airport identifier to warn flight planners of these conditions.
In the Flight Edit view, the METAR/TAF/NOTAM popup is also now available when you click the Info button next to any airport in your route. Lastly, searching for an airport using any of the Airport fields now shows more information about each airport in the list, including the flight category from the most recent METAR, the latest wind and visibility reports, and the length of the longest runway.
Winds Aloft Map Layer
Dispatch’s built-in map now includes a global Winds Aloft forecast layer that you can use to quickly find favorable winds at different altitudes. Enable the layer by clicking the Layer button in the top-left of Dispatch’s map and selecting Winds Aloft at the top of the right-hand column. Just like the Winds Aloft layer in ForeFlight Mobile, global wind patterns are depicted using directional wind barbs that have a variable number of “legs” and different colors to indicate wind speed. Use the Altitude Slider on the right to view winds at different altitudes in intervals of 3,000 feet. Changing your flight’s planned altitude will cause the slider to automatically move to whichever altitude setting is closest to it.
Unlike the mobile app, the Winds Aloft layer in Dispatch also provides a Time Slider to view wind forecasts for multiple time periods, up to more than 6 days in the future. Click the Play button on the right of the slider to animate the layer, showing how the winds change with each forecast period.
Flight planners who always use the same route for a given airport pair can now load such routes more quickly using Saved Routes. Click the floppy disk button (we love a good throwback) on the right side of the Selected Route field to save the currently-entered route. The next time you plan a flight with the same departure and destination airports, that route will appear in the Routes List under a “Saved Routes” header.
Account administrators can view and delete any saved routes on the account in the Saved Routes tab of the Dispatch Settings menu.
Flight Change Tracking
Dispatch will track the history of changes made to each flight and by whom, giving account administrators greater oversight of flight plans in the system. The “Last Change” status at the bottom of the Flight Edit view shows which user made the last change to the flight. Click “(view history)” to see every major action made to the flight since it was created: the type of action is shown under the Event column (e.g. Created, Modified, Released, Filed, etc.), the user or system that initiated the action is shown under the By column (e.g. Scheduling, Dispatch user, Auto-compute), the user’s email address is shown to the right for each action made by a user, and the date/time of each action is shown in the rightmost column. Click the top of the Event or Time columns to reorder the list based on those columns.
Assign Ad-Hoc Crew Members to Flights
Dispatch now has the ability to send email notifications to flight team members who are not included in your ForeFlight account. Provide flight details and updates to contract pilots, ground handlers, cabin attendants, or anyone else who needs to be notified simply by entering their email address in one of the Crew fields. This will add them to the flight as an “ad-hoc” pilot, and upon releasing or updating the flight they will receive the same notification email sent to pilots on your account, which includes a link to view the flight’s briefing.
Unlike pilots on your account, ad-hoc pilots cannot access flights to which they are added using ForeFlight, even if they have an active ForeFlight subscription.
Auto-Refresh Flight Plans & Briefings
To ensure that crew members can access the most up-to-date information about their assigned flights, Dispatch can now automatically refresh a flight’s briefing and performance calculations after it’s been released. Enable the Auto-Refresh option in Dispatch’s Briefing Settings list to turn on Auto-Refresh for flights. Once enabled, this feature will refresh a flight’s Navlog, Briefing, and performance calculations every hour until one hour prior to departure. The refreshed information is automatically synced to crew members’ devices as long as they’re connected to the internet and running ForeFlight.
Visit foreflight.com/dispatch to learn more about all the things Dispatch can do, or sign up for a personalized demo with a ForeFlight Sales representative here.
Dispatch is an add-on to ForeFlight’s Mobile and Web application that equally empowers pilots, flight planners, and ops managers in flight departments big and small to collaborate and plan flights with greater efficiency and precision.
Flexjet signs on as the inaugural customer, adopting Dispatch to complement its longtime use of ForeFlight Mobile on the flight deck.
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 21, 2019 – Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced the launch of ForeFlight Dispatch, a team flight planning component of its web application that delivers a next-generation, multi-user, schedule-to-mobile flight planning capability for flight operations of any size.
With Dispatch, flight plans are created by pilots, dispatchers, or automatically via integrated scheduling systems to generate “cleared-as-filed” routes, briefings, and operational flight plans, which are then synchronized with the ForeFlight Mobile application on crew devices. Flight watchers or dispatchers can then monitor flights or make changes to flight plans, and all changes are automatically synced back to crew devices, resulting in a more productive flight operation.
Customers across North America and Europe have already tested the new capabilities with live flight operations in an extensive beta program. The inaugural customer of ForeFlight Dispatch, Flexjet, is a preeminent operator committed to deploying the latest technology throughout the organization.
“As one of the industry’s most innovative brands, Flexjet regularly seeks to drive efficiencies in every part of our business,” said Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf. “ForeFlight, in partnership with us, dramatically improved the flight planning process and created cutting-edge technology for both the Dispatchers and the Pilots.”
“For the past year, we have beta tested the Dispatch software to our Global fleet, which operate all over the world,” said Tim Montie, director of operations at Flexjet. “The efficiencies that we have realized with optimized flight plan routes, fuel burns, and passenger comfort have been outstanding. This has also allowed us to reduce the number of applications that our pilots must maintain and reduces the amount of actual paper documents that each pilot and aircraft must carry.”
“We are thrilled to be expanding our longstanding relationship with Flexjet as they adopt our Dispatch capabilities,” said Tyson Weihs, Co-Founder and CEO of ForeFlight, a Boeing Company. “We worked closely with Flexjet to identify and eliminate the biggest inefficiencies faced by their teams: workflow fragmentation, slow route generation, disconnected systems, and complex workarounds to release flights to crew members. We are now addressing these issues by combining the app’s historical strengths and our Jeppesen data in a single, streamlined, next-gen flight planning solution.”
ForeFlight Dispatch solves several common challenges for flight departments — how to efficiently load flight plans from the scheduling system, select valid and optimal flight routes, collaboratively plan, file, and monitor flights, and ultimately distribute them along with associated documents to crew members’ mobile devices.
With Dispatch, supported flight scheduling systems can send flights directly into ForeFlight so teams can start working with them right away. ForeFlight Web provides a centralized list view of all planned and filed flights so Planners have better insight into the status of any flight and the overall view of the day’s operations.
Likewise, pilots can easily see flights assigned to them both on the web and on their mobile devices. Flights created by pilots on their mobile devices appear on the web for planners to view and edit, allowing flight crews and planning teams to view more easily. ForeFlight’s Sync system ensures that all changes are reflected across the platform for everyone involved.
All of Boeing’s existing best-in-class flight planning features through ForeFlight, combined with its high-quality “runway to runway” flight planning data through Jeppesen, are enhanced by the addition of advanced capabilities like fine-tuned route constraints and partial routing, at-a-glance speed and altitude performance comparisons, expanded fuel policies, automatic Jeppesen Airway Manual lookups and overflight reports.
Dispatch’s Scheduling API allows ForeFlight to integrate with scheduling software providers and enterprise systems. Initial planned integrations include Boeing’s Jeppesen Operator, SD Scheduler, Flightdocs Enterprise, BART by Seagil Software, PFM Ops Console, and Avmosys.
Customers attending NBAA can see a demo and sign up to get started with Dispatch at the ForeFlight booth in North Hall – Booth 5518, and the Boeing booth in North and Central halls – Booth 5202.
To learn more about ForeFlight Dispatch, visit foreflight.com/dispatch. To schedule a demo of Dispatch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Product Highlights:
Workflow Enhancing Integrations
Scheduling system integrations can send scheduled flights into ForeFlight, complete with the flight details needed for a flight planner to start working with them right away. Dispatch’s APIs also allow external systems – scheduling software, passenger itineraries, and more – to leverage ForeFlight’s advanced performance engine with quickly-returned “performance quotes,” delivering estimated time and fuel burn results for flights before they even reach ForeFlight.
Dispatch integrates crew assignment and mobile flight releases into its flight planning workflow, allowing planners to release flight plans directly to assigned crew members’ iPads and iPhones before departure. Flight plans are delivered to crew members within seconds of being released, complete with aircraft, airport, route, and performance details.
ForeFlight’s Navlog and Briefing documents are also generated for each flight plan and synced to crew members’ devices, providing quick access to everything they need. Any changes made by planners to a released flight will automatically sync to pilots’ devices, along with updated documents reflecting the changes.
Optimized Route Generation
Dispatch leverages and extends ForeFlight’s next-generation flight planning engine and Recommended Route, which uses Jeppesen’s high quality “runway-to-runway” aeronautical data along with forecast weather, aircraft performance, and ATC history to create optimized and globally file-able flight plans. For flights in Europe, ForeFlight automatically validates every route against EUROCONTROL rules to ensure it can be filed without rejection.
The new Route Builder feature allows planners to specify detailed route constraints that ForeFlight adheres to when generating the optimized Recommended Route. These include avoiding FIRs, airways, waypoints, and SID or STAR procedures, or including any of the above in ForeFlight’s auto-generated route. Planners can also specify “partial routes” that comply with strict overflight permits or preferential routing through certain airspace, allowing ForeFlight to incorporate those segments verbatim while optimizing the remainder of the route. ForeFlight accepts new constraints and updates the Recommended Route extremely quickly.
A key component of the Route Builder is the Route Analysis Report document, which searches Jeppesen’s digital airway manual and returns any relevant airway restrictions in seconds. Flight planners can then add new constraints to bypass the airways and re-generate the route, saving significant time and removing the need for leafing through physical airway manuals.
Dispatch also brings ETP and ETOPS planning to ForeFlight. Aircraft can be configured with details concerning depressurization and medical scenarios, ETP-specific fuel parameters, and single-engine speed used for ETOPS calculations. Flight planners can then select diversion airports for a flight and ForeFlight will calculate ETP information for each pair of airports and include it in the Navlog document for easy reference.
Enable ETOPS for a flight and ForeFlight will check that every route leg is within ETOPS certification, and display ETOPS rings around each diversion airport on ForeFlight’s dynamic route map. The map can also highlight a route’s point of safe return (also known as point of no return), allowing planners to quickly identify how far along the route the plane can still return to the departure airport with sufficient fuel reserves.
Flexible Fuel & Performance Planning
Dispatch combines ForeFlight’s existing fuel planning capabilities like Fuel Policies with new features that make the process even easier. Cruise Advisor provides side-by-side performance comparisons of different altitude and cruise speed combinations so flight planners can quickly find the desired balance between time enroute and fuel usage. Planners can choose up to three cruise profiles to compare at five nearby altitudes, and ForeFlight calculates the forecast winds, time enroute, and fuel burn for each combination. The combinations resulting in the lowest fuel usage and the shortest trip time are each highlighted for easy identification.
Dispatch adds multiple wind model options for greater flexibility while flight planning. Planners can choose the Forecasted model, which uses actual winds aloft forecasts out to seven days in advance; the Historical model, which uses historical winds with selectable probability settings of 50%, 85%, or 90%; or the Fixed wind model, which allows the planner to define a specific head- or tailwind component and ISA deviation that applies to the entire flight.
Multiple reserve fuel policies corresponding to a number of FAA and EASA regulatory designations are also available with Dispatch. Planners can select one to automatically calculate the fuel required under that policy, or manually input a quantity of reserve fuel or minutes of equivalent flight time.
Helpful Flight Documents
Dispatch extends ForeFlight’s lineup of auto-generated preflight documents with new additions that can help flight planners and crew members prepare for and conduct the flight. The Briefing document combines information about NOTAMs and forecast weather with other documents to create a single, comprehensive flight briefing for simplified crew delivery. ForeFlight’s Navlog document provides detailed flight fuel and weight metrics, waypoint-by-waypoint performance and altitude comparisons, airport frequencies, and more, making it a convenient inflight reference.
The new Overflight Report sums together all FIR overflight fees that would be incurred for a given route. For each FIR the document lists the parent country, the entry and exit coordinates, the total distance and duration spent transiting the FIR, and the overflight charges and accrued cost as the flight progresses.
Flexjet first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing. Flexjet’s fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 20 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Flexjet’s fractional program fields an exclusive array of business aircraft—some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry, with an average age of approximately six years. In 2015, Flexjet introduced Red Label by Flexjet, which features the youngest fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 30 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Challenger 350, the Embraer Legacy 450, Global Express, the Gulfstream G450, G500 and G650, and the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jets. In addition, the overall jet collection includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Bombardier Challenger 300. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit http://www.flexjet.com or follow us on Twitter @Flexjet and on Instagram @FlexjetLLC.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As the top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.
We are excited to report that ForeFlight is the first flight deck app to support native resolution for the new 11-in Apple iPad Pro. ForeFlight is optimized to take advantage of the iPad Pro’s new A12X Bionic processor, powerful new graphics processor, and larger edge-to-edge 11-inch diagonal Liquid Retina display.
“The new iPads look beautiful. We just flew with it and the brightness is amazing, Face ID unlocked with glasses and headset on, tap to wake is great, Apple Pencil is now table stakes on the flight deck.”
The new iPads are supported in ForeFlight’s latest release, version 10.4.4, available now on the Apple App Store.
From owner operators to large charter operations – trip planners will wonder how they ever lived without Trip Assistant
ForeFlight now offers customers Trip Assistant, a simple-to-use planning tool for anyone involved in mission planning that quickly computes door-to-door trip time. Trip Assistant is an enhancement to ForeFlight’s advanced web-based flight planning toolset.
Trip Assistant computes total trip time, factoring in drive time, flight times using historical and forecast winds, and fuel stops to create a detailed itinerary showing exactly when to leave in order to arrive on time at the final destination.
“Trip Assistant started as an internal project to help our flight department and executive assistants more quickly answer a question we ask on every flight: when do we need to leave our homes or offices to get somewhere on time,” said Tyson Weihs, co-founder and CEO of ForeFlight. “Powered by our best-in-class flight planning engine, Trip Assistant is a tool that any aircraft user – assistants, flight support staff, passengers, and pilots – can use to quickly compute total trip time, even when fuel stops are required.”
Trip Assistant allows for forward and backward planning by setting a desired departure time or arrival time. Customers can enter the departure and destination location by using business names, place names, or street addresses, and Trip Assistant searches for and displays the nearest suitable airports.
Additionally, Trip Assistant features a built-in Fuel Stop Advisor that factors in the aircraft’s performance and automatically suggest a number of proposed stopovers to help minimize trip time and fuel costs. Fuel Stop Advisor allows the planner to select the criteria for determining the best stops such as max aircraft range, max leg time or max leg distance. With a configured account, pilots can also view their personal contract jet fuel prices at each stop.
Trip Assistant is included – at no additional charge – in ForeFlight’s Performance Plus and Business Performance plans. To learn more about Performance Flight Planning, visit www.foreflight.com/performance.
ForeFlight now offers customers mobile Pre-Departure Clearance (PDC) and Digital Automated Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS). The PDC service, in partnership with Satcom Direct, automatically delivers, via text and email, departure clearance information at over 70 of the busiest airports in North America, simplifying operations and reducing frequency congestion.
PDCs are official text clearances issued for US IFR flight plans, and include the filed route, the cleared altitude, transponder code, departure frequency, and any special instructions. A PDC replaces (and is the same as) receiving a verbal clearance from Clearance Delivery.
Tyson Weihs, co-founder and CEO of ForeFlight, is a PDC convert and speaks from first-hand experience: “Customers who have flown with the new PDC and D-ATIS features don’t want to fly without them. These two valuable tools make flight and avionics setup efficient by eliminating a set of radio communications, they reduce controller workload, and help get the aircraft to the runway faster, which improves on-time performance. These are powerful new additions to what has become one of the industry’s most technically advanced, fast, and accurate flight planning services available.”
Satcom Direct Founder and CEO, Jim Jensen, also commented: “SD is proud to partner with ForeFlight to provide this capability within their platform. We look forward to a continued relationship focused on our shared goal of improving the customer experience and creating better tools for business aviation operators.”
ForeFlight customers who subscribe to Performance Flight Planning services and file flight plans via ForeFlight can start the PDC activation process for their aircraft by contacting email@example.com. Once activated, customers that file via ForeFlight will begin receiving PDC and D-ATIS messages as early as 30 minutes before departure, reducing preflight preparation time and reducing the risk of delays.
To learn more about PDC through ForeFlight and to see the list of more than 70 airports where PDC is available, visit www.foreflight.com/pdc.
PDC and D-ATIS are included – at no additional charge – in ForeFlight’s Performance Plus and Business Performance plans. To learn more about Performance Flight Planning, visit www.foreflight.com/performance.
ForeFlight customers now have access to more winds aloft data for more accurate long term flight planning.
Seven Day Winds Forecast
The winds aloft forecast data in ForeFlight now extends up to seven days in the future (previously 30 hours), giving you more accurate route performance calculations for flight plans within that timeframe, anywhere in the world. The additional high-resolution Global Forecast System (GFS) data is available now for all ForeFlight customers and is automatically incorporated into route performance calculations.
When your flight is more than seven days away, ForeFlight now gives you the advantage of historical winds aloft data. Historical winds are derived from monthly average winds over the past 40 years. This means that when you plan a flight that uses historical winds, ForeFlight assumes the same wind speed, direction, and temperature for every day and time within a given month; move the departure time to a different month and ForeFlight automatically adjusts the value based on the average for that month. You’ll know when ForeFlight is using historical winds by the yellow banner across the top of the Flights view.
It is worth noting here that, unlike the seven day wind forecast, currently only the Flights view uses historical winds. When planning in the Maps view, ForeFlight will assume zero winds if you’re planning a flight more than seven days in advance. However, you can easily send your route plan from the Flight Plan Editor in the Maps view to the Flights view and ForeFlight will automatically re-calculate route performance using historical winds. In addition, ForeFlight on the web uses historical winds for flight planning beyond seven days in the future.
Use the Send To button to move your route plan from Maps to Flights.
Seamlessly integrating the GFS seven day wind forecast and monthly historical winds provides ForeFlight customers with more accurate data for planning a flight, whether it’s next week, next month, or next year.
Available with ForeFlight Mobile 9.4, five new weather layers bring global Icing, Turbulence and surface pressure data to the map, with detailed Surface Analysis available to much of North America. These weather products significantly enhance local and global flight planning and your weather decision-making abilities. In addition, the recently introduced time slider provides frame-by-frame control over animation of the new weather layers.
The new layers are available both on mobile and web with the Pro Plus and Performance Plus subscription plans, as well as Business Performance, MFB Pro, and MFB Performance. If you don’t have one of those subscription plans, click here to upgrade and unlock these powerful weather layers.
Layer Animation Time Slider
The animation Time Slider tool provides better control over weather layer animation, as well as more clarity on the age of the weather product you are viewing. The slider automatically displays when you select any Radar, Satellite, Icing, or Turbulence layer.
In addition to the familiar play/pause button, the Time Slider allows frame-by-frame control over the animation. The slider’s position on the time scale indicates the valid time for the currently displayed weather graphic. Tapping to the right of the slider head advances the layer by one time step, while tapping to the left of the slider head retreats the layer by one time step. Alternatively, tap-hold and move the slider head left and right to manually control animation speed and enable back and forth (rocking) animation, a useful capability when analyzing local storm cell changes on radar.
The time scale changes as appropriate for each weather product displayed. Forecast-based weather layers, such as the Icing and Turbulence layers, use a white vertical bar to indicate the present time, splitting the time slider into two parts: forecasts that are valid for the past (gray line) and for the future (white line).
Products that indicate past information only, such as the radar and satellite layers, are presented with a gray time scale with the product age, relative to the current time, displayed with each frame. The absolute time is displayed in a callout with each frame as you manually scrub left or right, as well as to the left of the time scale.
Providing full manual control over the weather layer animation and easily reading relative age and absolute time for each weather product frame provides better insight to how the weather is trending.
The Surface Analysis layer adds a global surface pressure overlay, displaying isobar lines and associated pressure values in millibars. For much of North America, the isobar lines are complemented with depictions of surface fronts, troughs, and high/low pressure center markers. Besides displaying the current surface analysis, the forecasted surface analysis can be viewed for up to two days into the future using the Time Slider.
Detailed Surface Analysis over North America
Isobars depicted over Europe
The Surface Analysis product and its forecast is a collaboration between multiple weather centers and is primarily based on the National Weather Service Global Forecast System (GFS) and the North American Mesoscale (NAM) models, with additional guidance from the European ECMWF and the United Kingdom’s UKMET models. Surface features (fronts, troughs, pressure centers) are analyzed manually by a NWS meteorologist, and are therefore only available for the North America region.
Surface Analysis features follow the standard depiction convention as outlined in the table below:
Icing severity data for the United States has been available in the ForeFlight Mobile Imagery view since 2015. Now, icing severity is available as a dynamic weather layer in the Maps view in ForeFlight Mobile and on the web. And not just for the US, but for the entire world.
You will now see two icing products in the Maps view layer selector: Icing (US) and Icing (Global). Both serve the same purpose, but are based on different weather models.
For the US coverage, the Forecast Icing Product (FIP) is a Numerical Weather Prediction model that employs a 20km grid in the horizontal and a 1000 ft grid in the vertical (from 3000’ to FL450) to calculate icing severity and the potential for SLD (supercooled large droplets). The FIP model is run hourly and forecasts are available out to 18 hours.
For a fast analysis of conditions at each altitude, you can quickly scrub between altitudes using the Altitude Slider in the lower right corner of the Maps view. The Altitude Slider is also available on the Turbulence layer.
Please note that SLD threat is currently only available to customers flying with the SiriusXM SXAR1 aviation receiver and who are subscribed to the SiriusXM Pilot for ForeFlight plan. SLD threats are depicted with red squares.
The Global Icing product is based on the Global Forecast System (GFS) weather model with a coarser horizontal and vertical grid and is run four times per day (every 6 hours). Global Icing forecasts in ForeFlight are available out to 24 hours.
Because of the coarser grid, as well as the less-frequent model runs of the GFS, it’s worth comparing the two icing depictions side-by-side. The difference in horizontal resolution and model update frequency between the US icing layer (left) and the global icing layer (right) is evident. When operating within the limits of the US icing model coverage area, the US icing layer should be referenced instead of the global layer to take advantage of its frequent updates and finer horizontal and vertical grid resolution.
US Icing layer
Global Icing layer
Regardless of whether you have US or global icing selected, each layer uses the same color scale to depict conditions of no icing, light, moderate and heavy icing, as shown in the legend below:
It’s important to note that the icing severity is roughly based on the accretion rate of ice on an airplane. The severity levels are defined by how long it would take for ¼ inch (65mm) of ice to build up on an airfoil. Time ranges are given for each level because the build-up rate depends on variables like airfoil properties, airspeed, and atmospheric conditions.
Since the icing forecasts are produced with no human modifications, they are intended for flight planning purposes only and should always be used in combination with AIRMETs, SIGMETs and PIREPs.
Similar to the Icing map layer, there are two new Turbulence map layers, one for the United States and the other for Global coverage.
The US turbulence product is based on the Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG). The GTG and the associated Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR) data scale used by GTG were both covered in detail in a previous ForeFlight article. It’s worth re-reading that post to brush up on the turbulence product, especially how the relationship between EDR and in-flight turbulence intensity changes based on aircraft weight. The information in that article applies equally to the US and global turbulence layers.
The US turbulence layer data are still based on GTG-3 with an available lead time of up to 18 hours. This layer displays the maximum EDR of clear air turbulence (CAT) and mountain wave turbulence (MWT). It is not intended to predict convection and thunderstorm turbulence sources, but may provide some guidance if the storm event is widespread. Furthermore, the graphics represent a snapshot at that time and not a forecast for a time range. Finally, it is important to realize that turbulence is a dynamic event and rapidly changing conditions may not be accurately reflected.
The global turbulence layer displays EDR derived from the GFS forecast model using a proprietary algorithm. This layer differs from the US GTG-3 derived layer in that the global turbulence data only forecasts CAT and not MWT. The forecast lead time can be up to 24 hours. The same reduced horizontal and vertical resolutions discussed previously in the global icing section apply to the global turbulence layer. Also, since the global turbulence layer uses GFS model data, the same reduced model run rate limitation applies (every 6 hours for GFS versus hourly for GTG-3), resulting in the US turbulence layer being updated more frequently. For all of these reasons, it’s important to use the US turbulence layer when operating within its coverage area.
Since the layer’s EDR scale is aircraft dependent, it is important to review the scale applicable to your aircraft category (the article linked above contains scales for light, medium, and heavy aircraft classes). The following color scheme is used in the turbulence map layer:
These new weather layers are an exciting and useful feature addition for our US and worldwide customers. Keep in mind that there is no human involvement in creating the turbulence and icing products and the information should be supplemented as much as possible with SIGMETs, AIRMETs, and PIREPs to understand the full weather picture.