Avtech proFlight is an easy-to-use iPad app that visualizes flight related weather information like turbulence, winds, temperature, ice and more, all tailored to a single flight’s trajectory and time. Now all pilots can try out the app free of charge for a limited time on AppStore.
Niklaes Persson, Head of R&D at Avtech and a commercial airline pilot himself, explains that the proFlight app gives pilots a graphical view of the exact location of the aircraft and the surrounding weather, including invisible turbulence.
“To download the flight plan to proFlight, a pilot that is registered in our system only needs to choose the flight number from a list in the app, which then automatically downloads all the needed data for that flight”, Persson says. “But it is much more than just another weather app. Having unique access to Met Office’s 10 km resolution weather data, which our backend servers extract individually for every flight, proFlight significantly improves the accuracy of the weather. This in turn improves the situation awareness in the cockpit dramatically compared with other weather services available.”
However, since pilots are a traditional species, the data can also be shown in the traditional way waypoint by waypoint; it is up to the pilot to choose how to visualize the information. Persson points out that although proFlight has a simple interface, the app combines Avtech’s premium weather services, Aventus Sigma and Aventus Nowcast.
“The data is always up-to-date when the aircraft takes off and can also be updated during the flight if the aircraft has an Internet connection”, he says. “In addition, Sigmets are also digitally visualized in the app instead of just as a plain text including a list of coordinates from the aircraft’s printer.”
Still free to use.
Persson points out that proFlight is available for all commercial airline pilots, even if the airline company is not a customer to Avtech. Pilots from 25 airline companies around the globe are testing the service at the moment and Avtech use their feedback to improve the app constantly.
“For the time being, the app is free to download and use for all registered airline pilots”, Persson says. “I would recommend it for all pilots, since it puts the aircraft on a map and shows all the weather hazards in the vicinity, both vertically and horizontally. If, for example turbulence is coming up ahead, the pilot has access to the best information possible for the climb or descent decision.”
Persson says that it took the company about one and a half years to develop the first version of the app. Now Avtech is focusing on making the app even smarter and more interactive.
“In the future there will be a free version available based on the normal weather services, but to the paid version we are adding even more weather layers and new services”, he says. “For the moment it is available for iOS, but we are also working on a Windows version.”
One major advantage of proFlight is that all weather material needed for a flight can be digitalized and accessed with only one interface required.
“In fact, all printed weather material needed before take-off, which was formerly delivered to the aircraft, can now be shown in proFlight”, Persson says. “We have recently started the EASA approval process for the app, which should take about six months to obtain.”