Oct 20 2009

SkyCharts App – Dan’s Review

Category: Aviation GPS,iPhone Apps,RamblingsDaniel @ 6:20 am

SkyCharts
Released Oct 18, 2009
Seller:  Heikki Julkunen
(C) 2008-2009 Heikki Julkunen
Price (as of 10/20/2009):  $9.99
Rated 4+ as of 10/20/2009 on iTunes Store

Most general aviation pilots know how expensive true aviation-grade portable GPS systems can be.  Garmin and Lowerance systems cost upwards of $2,000 for a decent one, even the seemingly awesome Bendix-King AV8OR costs around $700+.  In my mind, those are ridiculous prices for the amount of functionality those devices provide.  After experimenting with my Mio Personal Navigation Device for aviation use with some success, I was hopeful to find something just as useful on my iPhone.  I’m very happy and excited to report about the SkyCharts app…truly a great little gem on the iPhone!

SkyCharts

Granted, it’s no fully integrated electronic flight bag (EFB), but it does exactly what it claims to do…  it puts your GPS position directly on top of the paper sectionals/charts you’ve grown to know and love.  The first versions of the app did ONLY that, but the latest version added some flight planning capabilities as well.

One VERY important feature of this app is that you can cache the various charts to use while you don’t have a data/cellular signal.  In other words, you can use this while flying (even though you aren’t supposed to – like any app).  Furthermore, it now has a database of all U.S. airports, nav points, and fixes – all of which can be selected and routed direct-to.  For each airport, it also will cache and display approach plates and airport diagrams.  Overall, very useful stuff!  The flight-planning is currently only 1 point direct-to lines, but future versions may include multiple waypoints.  The development of this app has been moving quickly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if those features are included in the near future.

Overall, for $10 ($9.99 technically), it’s WELL worth the cost!  I’ve used this MANY times in the air already, and think it’s a superb app.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  Check it out on iTunes here!

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7 Responses to “SkyCharts App – Dan’s Review”

  1. Steve N says:

    I second your recommendation. I have several iPhone aviation apps and this is the best. The author spends a good deal of time adding features and bug fixes too.

    I also like “LiveATC” to stay sharp on communications and AeroWeather for weather updates (free).

  2. Heikki Julkunen says:

    Hey, thanks for the review!
    Hope you don’t mind if I link to your review from my website ?

    FYI: Multi leg flight planning is coming but I have some other features that I’m working on before that, but ‘real’ flight planning (including automatic winds aloft) is in the works. Its just a matter of finding the time! 🙂
    If interested, find the wishlist portion of the forum and there is some sort of schedule of what I’m working on.

    Blue skies
    / Heikki

    • Dan says:

      Sure! Feel free to link to my site and thanks again for creating such a great app! I’m looking forward to the future enhancements.

  3. Annie Bankss says:

    I have been visiting your blog lately and find it very informative and interesting.

    Annie Bankss
    Private Pilot License

  4. steve says:

    wondering , what do you have to buy to stay on current charts?? thanks steve

  5. Toshi Somenaka says:

    Please let me introduce my product.

    http://gmapair.com

    GmapAir is a digital map of U.S. airspaces for VFR flight that is compatible with your GARMIN outdoor/recreational GPS (Oregon, Colorado, Dakota, nuvi, eTrex, and GPSMAP).
    The airspaces, their boundaries, altitude ranges, etc., are presented in an easy-to-understand fashion even for areas where several airspaces overlap.

    GmapAir is competitively priced for casual use or as a backup to more specialized aviation GPS devices. It can be particularly useful on craft that are not well instrumented, such as ultralights, hang gliders, paragliders, and balloons.

    Please let me know if you have any question, impression, and suggestions.

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