Tried to comb through the forum to see if anyone else addressed my issues, but didn’t see them. I got the email notification about the flight planner, logged in, put in my profile data. That was a little time consuming, but sample plans came out surprisingly accurate against actual flights I’ve flown, so the POH is more accurate than I though, and FlightAware did a great job in the calcs (mostly). A couple things, though, I noticed while playing around:
- Didn’t see any weather information displayed on the proposed routing pages, or on nav log pages, or any links to weather of any kind. Thought that was to be included.
- Would like the nav log page to either open up in a new window/tab, or provide a convenient “back” button/link to get back to list of proposed altitudes or routes. Right now, it takes me to another page and I’m stuck there. From there, I can’t file, check weather, change my mind and choose another route or altitude. If I use the browser back button, I have to start all over and re-enter my flight, re-calc, etc.
- True airspeeds and ground speeds en route can be a little curious, especially if you choose a direct route. For the most part, the planner seems to go with the max true speed for your aircraft at that altitude and whatever the winds are at the departure. At one point, I produced a sample flight plan, KSTL->KCHS direct, at 11K feet, that came up with something like 181 kts TAS, which is some 20 knots faster than ANY speed I put in my profile, so not sure where that came from. And of course, the ground speed was even crazier. I’d love to see 200 kts in my aircraft, but alas, short of strapping on a turbo and an oxygen tank or getting a 50 kt tailwind, that would never happen. What would be more accurate, particularly for a direct routing, would be to create “sample” waypoints along the way (every 50 miles?) and lookup winds aloft at those points to get a more accurate average speed. While winds at 10k might be blowing 40 tailwind at departure, that might change to a 10 kt headwind 400 miles away.
- I did see this mentioned elsewhere and would also love to see it: IFR enroute and VFR sectional charts with my selected route overlayed, and even handier would be an overlay of NexRad and metar or other weather (VFR, MVFR, IFR, LIFR) symbols scattered/overlayed on the map. Other weather niceties I’d love to see overlayed on a chart with my route are things like satellite images, pireps, airmets/sigmets, etc. I’m not aware of any tool today that can show me all that at once. Currently, I have to look at half a dozen images/sources and combine it all in my head. Bringing this all together would be a beautiful thing.
- I really like the bundled chart option for departure and destination, but it would be handy to also include bundled charts for your alternate as well. I didn’t see that anywhere.
Great job, though, guys, and looking forward to future enhancements.