ForeFlight Mobile HD users on iPhones and iPads will be pleased with the latest 4.0 upgrade, available for download through the Apple App Store. The latest update to this EFB program includes some needed options which make the user interface easier, especially while bumping around IMC. I had a chance to use the latest update while flying the Bonanza on a short trip yesterday.
ForeFlight now has a real-time dynamic NavLog on the top of the “Maps” page. The NavLog gives the pilot nav data including distance, bearing, ETE and ETA between waypoints, as well as fuel burn estimates. To enable the NavLog info you must first enter a flight plan consisting of at least a departure and destination waypoint.
The HUD data at the bottom of the map display is now completely customizable, much like a Garmin portable unit.
Another new function for the IFR pilot is an icon that allows you to access all your favorite approaches and runway diagrams with one click. This chartbook is easy to maintain in terms of ordering, adding or deleting approach plates. Simply touch the plate you want and it pops opens to full-size. Ideally you would save the relevant departure, alternate and destination approaches, STARS and Taxiway diagrams in your chartbook before departure.
One glaring issue with ForeFlight has now been rectified. Prior versions did not provide the user any information on Special Use Airspace, so a backup paper copy was prudent. While not quite a slick as WingX, where the SUA can be highlighted as a display option, touching the screen will supply the pilot with horizontal and vertical limits of all Special Use Airspace, including MOAs, Restricted Areas, Class B, C, D spaces and Warning areas. Unfortunately real-time TFRs are still not available on ForeFlight just yet.
Lastly, a new tab enables download of the FAA’s Airport Facility Directory. The A/FD is in a PDF format and is quickly accessible from the Airports icon. The A/FD does not require an internet connection in flight as the data is saved in the iPad.
WingX 7 still has the advantage on terrain overlay and split screen options, but ForeFlight is superior as far as auto-routing, victor airways and SIDs/STARs are concerned.
ForeFlight and WingX are great competitors, leaving other firms like Jeppesen in the dust. These firms keep leapfrogging each other in terms of upgrades. Over time, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. For now, I am still keeping both subscriptions, and hope both companies thrive.