This year's AirVenture show is full of options for aviators looking to port in the free government-sponsored ADS-B weather. NavWorx brought its PADS portable box, and several moving map gps and geo-locating charting systems seem eager to port the information into their programs via the box's bluetooth connection. One of the least expensive entries into the wonderful world of onboard weather information is the ChartFlier by Essential Flight Technologies (EFT).
"We designed the ChartFlier to do exactly what pilots need it to do, and worked to make the program extremely lean," explains EFT President Colin Bitterfield. "For instance, you can do far more than rubber-band a course line. You can actually have your course line, your alternate course (pictured in a different color) and even a reference line back to your home airport (a third course) display on the chart at once," he says. "It gives you capability like you'd have if you were sitting at a table, actually using a chart, only better, because, when you are hooked up to a GPS, you get geo-referenced moving map capabilty, and, with the NavWorx PADS Wx box you get ADS-B weather super-imposed on your chart." The ChartFlier system includes VFR and IFR charts (low and high), airport diagrams, instrument procedures, and an aviation database for airports in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
ChartFlier is a PC-based product for economy's sake, according to Bitterfield. "We wrote the code for the program so that it would be extremely small—about 1.5 mb total—to enable it to run on legacy netbooks and tablets that were sitting dormant on so many shelves." The company offers one package, including a Fujitsu Lifebook computer and the software, for $399, and Bitterfield says the program, which costs just $149 a year, will run on a $199 netbook with ease. "Our screens toggle between modes, IFR, VFR, de-cluttering and look-up functions in around 3 seconds," says Bitterfield, demonstrating the program's rapid-fire reaction on a 2goPad solid-state tablet that retails for $849, including the Chartflier program.
EFT offers several different bundles and packages, including options for a bluetooth GPS that start at $39, and the ADS-B "in" box starting at $995, as well as a Zaon PCAS connection for those who are not quite ready to invest in an ADS-B transceiver (for "in" and "out" ADS-B necessary to receive traffic information). Essential Flight Technologies is located in Hangar D at AirVenture, or more information can be found at www.essentialflight.us.