Dedicated to the first 100 hours as Pilot-in-command and Sharing a passion for Aviation and Technology with anyone who will listen.
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It’s mid-February in Wisconsin and there are very few things you can do to pass these long cold months. Winter is far from over but I always consider this the half way marker for the return of reasonably comfortable flying weather. Winter provides us with great flying conditions for the airplane and tolerable conditions for the eager pilot, however my wife is less than excited about dealing with the cold in an old 172. I am just a little jealous of you lucky pilots in Caribbean right now.
I keep myself busy working with my local EAA chapter (1158) and attending my “Day Job”, but it is a far cry from the excitement of flying. Like all of you living in northern Winter climates, I look forward to Spring and the Aviation activities that follow.
A game I found recently, and have become attached to, is Air Control Lite available for Android. It is a “simple” game that allows you to play air traffic controller and direct Jets, Twins, Singles, and Helicopters to safe landing at an airport. The airspace becomes busier as you move ahead. You need to develop a strategy and keep a cool head to master the game. It will also require planning and quick reflexes. There is a free and paid version. I have only tried the free version so far. I will admit it is more difficult than it looks, my High Score to date is a mere 119.
Okay, so it is not exactly flying a simulator but I think it encourages you to think quickly and plan ahead. Both are essential to the safe operation of an Aircraft so I am going to keep playing.
Are there any other Free or Cheap Aviation related games out there?
Disclaimer: Air Control Lite is a Free App available for Android. I did NOT create this app nor am i connected to the publisher or developer of the app in any way. This is a personal review of an Android game I had FUN playing.
Benét J. Wilson with the AOPA has released a list of “General” Aviation Apps and the Cross Wind Assistant has made the list!
Thank you to everyone who has supported my Flying Bug with your app purchases. Check back often, there are a few more projects in the pipeline to be released this year along with updates and enhancements to the Aircraft Weight and Balance and Cross Wind Assistant Apps. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
As this year comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have downloaded the Density Altitude Calculator, Aircraft Weight and Balance, and Cross Wind Assistant apps for Android this year. As of this writing, there are almost 650 combined, active users of these apps and the number is growing steadily. When I consider the amount of new programming skills I have developed over this past year, I feel privileged to have an audience of this size. I hope more people try these apps and use the information to fly safer! We can do something about the General Aviation accident rate.
A special thank you to those of you who have contacted me personally this year with suggestions and criticisms that have improved the convenience and accuracy of the apps. I encourage anyone with input or questions regarding any of the apps to contact me directly via email. I truly want the app to work for everyone and you will receive a better product in the long run. All it takes is a friendly email to ask for a feature or report a problem. I am an independent developer and private pilot who works on these projects in his spare time so please be patient with me.
Honestly, my goal this year was to pay for 1 hour of Complex Aircraft Flight Training on app revenue alone and unfortunately I have fallen short of that goal. I have made about $75 so far and that is not quite going to cut it to rent a Piper Arrow II and pay a flight instructor for an hour of complex. I am estimating about $160 for an hour of complex flight instruction with aircraft and fuel. Maybe by the end of 2013 I will earn that hour on App revenue. Sure, I could subsidize the flight time with a little money but it would defeat the core purpose of the goal (Flight Training paid for with App Revenue). Sorry, I will stop whining about it now and get back to work but as you can see, I’m certainly not in it for the money, though some money would be nice.
For 2013, I plan to continually move forward with enhancements of the existing Aircraft Weight and Balance, Density Altitude Calculator, and Cross Wind Assistant apps for Android. There are also a few new products in development pipeline that will be an asset for every pilot. Consider taking this survey to help define the direction my future development projects. I am also always looking for Beta Testers for new Apps. Any Volunteers?
A few features you can expect in the Aircraft Weight and Balance app is a new preference for English or Metric units of measurement on weight and volume throughout the entire app. There are also plans to add aircraft templates for additional common General Aviation Aircraft. If you have an aircraft suggestion, send me an email and I will add it to the list. Please provide a copy of Weight & Balance page of POH or the data to be used in the template.
The Density Altitude Calculator App for Android will receive a fresh Airport database update early in the year and add access to a number of private weather stations that are reported thru www.wunderground.com. This will provide you with a more accurate picture of the Density Altitude at your precise location and more weather station options.
Cross Wind Assistant App for Android will receive a makeover to enhance its compatibility with larger tablet screens and improve the readability of the text and numbers. There will also be an updated Airport and METAR station database along with access to www.wunderground.com private weather stations. Additional runway information such as length, width, surface condition, and other information will also be available for most US airports and many international airports.
Please consider purchasing one or more of these apps for your Android device and help support my General Aviation Addiction.
Thank you once again to all of the people who have downloaded any of my Android apps. I know 2013 will bring exciting new improvements and useful new apps that will benefit Student pilots and Airline Captains alike. I remain committed to the continued support and development of these apps well into the future.
Android Version 1.0 of the Aircraft Weight & Balance app is available from the Google Play Marketplace.
After wandering between a variety of Weight and Balance tools on my smartphone, I realized that none of them did everything I wanted. I thought my requirements were simple enough.
1. Free or Cheap for my infrequent needs. I did not want to pay much for a tool I use every couple of months (I know, it is sad I only fly with multiple passengers this infrequently).
2. Store the Specific weight and balance data for the N-Numbers I fly and easily switch between them without re-entering my PAX weight data.
3. Simple and quick calculations with a user-friendly interface.
4. Save my weight as a preference so I do not have to re-enter it every time.
I think I have captured my needs and hopefully yours with the Aircraft Weight and Balance App. You are allowed to customize any and all aircraft weight specs and the Free version allows 3 saved aircraft profiles. If you fly more than 3 different aircraft (lucky you), it will cost $1.99 to unlock Unlimited aircraft profiles and remove the advertising.
I began this project in my search for an easier way to utilize the performance data in the C172 Pilot Operations Handbook (POH). While most airports have runways that are long enough for the typical small General Aviation aircraft, a Prudent pilot should be aware of all the conditions pertaining to the flight. Because most runways are long enough, General Aviation pilots rarely look at the specific performance numbers for take-off and landing requirements.
A typical method of calculating Take off requirements would be…
1. Look up Field Elevation
2. Look up Temperature
3. Look up Barometric Pressure (altimeter setting)
4. Calculate Density Altitude
5. Look up approximate values from the performance data table in the POH.
6. Interpolate the values from step 5 to the actual(or estimate) Ground Roll necessary.
In stage 1 of the project I have combined steps 1 – 4 in a single click of of the app (start the app and it automatically loads the nearest airport and weather stations).
Stage 2 of the project (In-Process ) will complete steps 5 – 6 automatically and estimate the Ground roll necessary for the given conditions and aircraft.