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Navigraph Subscription Changes

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Popular FMS (AIRAC) data and charts provider Navigraph has made some changes to the way you can purchase access to their products. Going forward, Navigraph is bundling their FMS Data and Charts subscriptions. There is no official announcement through the Navigraph news section, but on their forums there are a few posts that announce the change and get provide some deeper explanation on it.

Navigraph has up until now been offering their services through three separate subscriptions: an FMS Data subscription, a Charts subscription and an Ultimate subscription. The latter was a combination of the FMS Data and Charts access, and was available through a monthly as well as a yearly subscription.

After the recent changes, Navigraph has upgraded all users of the FMS Data subscription to an Ultimate subscription. Navigraph is doing this without any additional costs for your current subscription period. Your subscription will begin to cost more at the end of your current subscription period +3 months. The three months are considered as complimentary by Navigraph so you can explore the Charts service and see what it has to offer.

Of course all these changes beg the question as to why this is all happening. This was explained by Navigraph too, in the aforementioned forum post. The team sees their software, and software developed by other developers, as increasingly complimenting each other. A good example of this are the planes, most of which use Navigraph data for their navdata. This navdata is complemented by Charts, which can visualise this data and calculate routes based upon it. There are also integrations with services such as SimBrief that use the Navigraph data as an underlying data structure for their route calculation. Another example is how developers are integrating not only the navdata, but also the charts into their add-ons. EFB’s are becoming more of a norm, and many developers are integrating Navigraph Charts into these EFB’s.

Another reason specified by Navigraph for going ahead with these changes is their own roadmap. This roadmap was shared with us earlier this year. The team is working on more products to expand their current offering, and bundling all their products under one subscription is something they wish to do. Some of the roadmap items are VFR charts, weather, traffic network and better integrations for other add-on developers.

This change received so much comments, that CEO and Co-Founder Magnus Axholt took to the forums with a more in-depth explanation on things. Magnus addresses some of the most common comments, such as people simply having no interest in the Charts app, or the increase in price for people with a subscription (after their subscription period ends, +3 months). He also re-iterates that they want to serve their users the best way they can.

Update: Navigraph has reverted all the changes discussed above. You can read more about the reversion in this article.

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AIG Unveils First Features Of New AI Engine For Prepar3D And FSX

AIG

Alpha India Group Lead Developer Kai P. Kamjunke has posted today on the AIG forums the first insights on the upcoming AIG Traffic Controller tool. This utility, announced in June 2019, aims at correcting all the flaws of the Prepar3D AI engine. The current AI engine of Prepar3D v4 is very similar to the one introduced in the ESP engine when FS2002 was released in October 2001. The overhaul of this engine is a feature that has been awaited for a long time by pilots who prefer to use AI traffic rather than flying online.

The new engine will use SimConnect in order to inject the new traffic into Prepar3D. For the moment, the utility is target at FSX and Prepar3D but should also be compatible with FS9. Kai is also working with other unnamed developers regarding realistic AI traffic separation and SID/STARs following.

The AI traffic will now be able to follow a specific flightplan. As an example, Kai showcased a flightplan used by the SOFIA Boeing 747SP, that will be reproducible in the Prepar3D world.

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Little Navmap 2.4.4 Update Released

Overview

Little Navmap developer Alexander Barthel has released another big update for his Little Navmap utility.

This update brings a lot of new features to Little Navmap. Among them are a permanent aircraft performance collection, the wind aloft forecast, a complete rework of the logbook and the ability for users to create final approach vertical guidance such as ILS glideslopes at any airport. The entire changelog is huge and can be found here. You will find below the most notable changes for version 2.4.4.

Users having previously installed Little Navmap will have to take the followings steps in order to properly update :

  • Reload the scenery library.
  • Reinstall the Little Xpconnect X-Plane plugin to see bug fixes.
  • Little Navmap resets the map theme back to OpenStreetMap to avoid wrong selection of the now unavailable OpenMapSurfer theme.
  • Route description options are reset to defaults.

Little Navmap has lately become a big player in the crowded world of moving maps and flight planning utilities. It is available for X-Plane, Prepar3D. Being a quality freeware, it has met great success among the community. It is a very helpful tool for IFR flying and training. Stay tuned on FSElite for further updates on this promising utility.

Notable Changes

  • Winds aloft forecast for display and fuel planning.
  • Wind gust factor in airport weather symbols.
  • Alternate airports for flight plan and fuel planning.
  • Complete rework of logbook. Separated from userpoints and improved functionality.
  • Permanent aircraft performance collection. Results can be merged any time. Improvements to fuel planning.
  • Accurate fuel and time prediction in aircraft progress tab based on aircraft performance.
  • Internal webserver. Access map and flight plan from everywhere.
  • ILS tooltip and information.
  • User defined final approach for vertical guidance including VASI and ILS slope at any airport.
  • Preferred runway by wind for airports in tooltip and information.
  • Nearest navaids and airports around a selected airport.
  • Display holdings on map like traffic patterns.
  • Two new map navigation modes: Click to center and navigation areas for touchscreens.
  • Map images can now be saved with an arbitrary size.
  • Hide columns in flight plan table.
  • Can highlight full airways from information window Map link like airspaces.
  • Improved airspace database. Added user airspaces. Assign online centers to airspace geometry.
  • Movable and closable tabs. Tab menu button and context menu for tabs.
  • Fixed all known procedure display issues.
  • Display alternate fuel units and true course optionally.
  • User features like range rings, holds and others can be hidden on the map.
  • Error and warning messages in user interface have tooltip for more information now.
  • Many user interface improvements and bug fixes for procedure display, METAR parsing and more.
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[Updated] VATSIM Sets Connections Limits For The Weekend

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Following the successful launch of the new Audio for VATSIM at the beginning of the week, VATSIM has released a statement regarding the maximum number of connections on the VATSIM network for the upcoming weekend.

Due to the lack of stability of the voice server when the amount of users exceeds a little over 1,000 users, the Board of Governors of VATSIM has decided to limit the number of connection to the network to 147 simultaneous connections per server through the weekend. This means that the maximum limit of users over the VATSIM network will be 1,036 across their 7 servers.

VATSIM expects to reach the cap a few times during the weekend. In order to minimize disturbance, a code of good practices has been put up, so that a maximum of people can enjoy the new Audio for VATSIM this weekend.

With the upcoming Cross The Pond taking place in 7 days, it is essential that the stability problems are solved in due time. The limitations will be removed as soon as the stability source has been pinned down.

Audio for VATSIM is a complete overhaul of the VATSIM transmission network. The voice servers now simulate VHF range degradation, accurate frequency blocking, realistic voice sounding, HF simulation, voice UNICOM and much more.

Update posted on 20-Oct-19 @ 07:30Z by Guillaume

VATSIM Matthew Bartels has posted a further UNICOM policy change that takes effect immediately.

“If no ATC is online in your area only tune the UNICOM frequency 122.80 from pushback to top of climb and again from top of descent until parked on stand. During cruise, tune off of the global Unicom frequency and tune a random frequency until top of descent.”

Bartels added that this issue with AFV is beeing actively worked on.

Audio for VATSIM temporary Code of Conduct

  • Upon completion of a flight, users are requested to immediately disconnect instead of staying connected while idle at a gate to listen to the traffic. In the same vein, users are requested not to connect to VATSIM until they are ready to file their flight plan and receive clearance.
  • If you are doing a longer haul flight and anticipate the need for an extended step away, please disconnect from VATSIM. Not only is this part of the Code of Conduct, but with limited connection availability it allows those actively using the network to connect. Supervisors have been advised to disconnect users who have stepped away whilst in an active Air Traffic Controller’s airspace and do not respond quickly per CoC B3.
  • Air Traffic Controllers are requested to  consider giving up their sessions to another qualified controller who wants to control the same position if the controller has been on position for 2 hours or more. Please ensure that the controller relieving you has successfully connected prior to disconnecting so your position does not go offline and is unable to get another controller online.
  • Air Traffic Controllers are also asked to not transmit and receive on multiple frequencies. Each controller may transmit and receive on only one frequency unless temporarily relieving another controller in the top down hierarchy
  • Where we reach server capacity, VATSIM may suspend voice ATIS connections and observer connections in favor of having slots available for active controller and pilot connections. Such messages will be broadcast to all users on the network. Should you receive such a broadcast, Air Traffic Controllers are requested to disconnect their ATIS messages and proceed using a text only ATIS and Observers are requested to log off and reconnect as a Pilot or Air Traffic Controller or continue their observing session at a later time.
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Update (16-Oct-19): ProjectFLY Status Update [Back Online]

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Update posted 16-Oct-19 @ 15:30 by Calum

Since the original post, projectFLY is now back online. The team left comments on various social networks saying that the team has “cleared enough of the bill to have the services reinstated.” Whilst the team said there is still £700 left to clear from the original bill, the servers are now back online.

Following this, it is also said that the team will be “working as close to around the clock as possible in order to ensure v4 is out ASAP.” It is re-confirmed that v4 of projectFLY will have a subscription service, which “providing enough people subscribe, [to] stop things like this from happening again.”

 

== Original Article posted 15-Oct-19 @ 19:45z ==

Earlier today, at roughly 1500Z, popular community flight tracking and booking tool projectFLY went down. Matt Davies has taken to Facebook with a status update regarding projectFLY and the current situation he and the tool find themselves in.

In his post, Matt explains that the current downtime is because the Google account that projectFLY runs on has been suspended. This is because of an outstanding bill of 2750GBP, which Matt is currently not able to pay. He was under the expectation that he would have until the end of the month to get this bill paid, which is sadly not the case. Matt has been raising money via his livestream as well as other methods to keep projectFLY up and running.

Matt’s update continues on a more personal note, talking about his sentiment regarding the community. Towards the end of the update he states that projectFLY is not dead, and that “it’ll never die”. Though small downtime like this may happen, now and in the future, Matt is looking for different ways to keep projectFLY up and running. What the current downtime means for v4 of projectFLY remains to be seen, though Matt did state that v4 would hopefully become self-sustaining.

As for PTA users, these are currently also affected by this issue due to the PTA activation running on the same servers as projectFLY. Matt is currently working on setting up the activation servers on a different hosting platform. This should be done by tomorrow, according to him.

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xPilot Public Beta Released

Xpilot Public Beta Fselite Meta

Initially announced in the Audio for VATSIM beta Discord, the developers over at xPilot have released the public beta of their much-anticipated X-Plane 11 pilot client for VATSIM.

xPilot is the next generation of X-Plane pilot clients, with a very similar user interface to vPilot, there’s no doubt that xPilot is just as easy and intuitive to navigate and operate.

Some features of xPilot include the aforementioned intuitive design, simple model matching using the CSL model matching library and ease of use.

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Audio For VATSIM Launches

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Flipping the switch earlier than expected, VATSIM has announced that Audio For VATSIM is now active.

Featuring an all-new modern audio codec, the transition now allows for vastly improved audio quality on the online air traffic control network.

A post on the VATSIM website says connection restrictions have been removed and Audio For VATSIM is available for everyone. The post cautions that the servers will remain in a monitoring state until Monday (October 14) at 2000z and that users “may experience disconnects and other abnormalities as [they] continue to tweak the update to [their] servers.” Voice ATIS may also be unstable as updates are pushed.

Users are encouraged to update their software via the Audio For VATSIM page in order to take advantage of the new features.

Stay tuned to the VATSIM Network Status page for ongoing updates.

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VATSIM Cross The Pond Slot Bookings Open Today

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In a short tweet, VATSIM has confirmed the opening of the Cross The Pond Eastbound 2019 pilot slots booking. The reservations will start today (October 6th) at 1800Z.

The booking opening is gradual and will be as follows:

  • 1800Z – MCO/ORD slots
  • 1830Z – MIA slots
  • 1900Z – YYZ/BOS slots
  • 1930Z – JFK slots

The chosen airfield for this year’s event are the following :

Departing: BOS, JFK, MCO, MIA, ORD, YYZ
Arriving: AMS, CPH, DUB, LHR, MUC, WAW

Happening on October 26th, VATSIM Cross The Pond 2019 Eastbound will be the first major event to feature the new Audio for VATSIM codec, scheduled for release on October 14th. Audio for VATSIM will feature much more realistic voice sounds, decreasing signal with distance, multiple simultaneous frequencies for ATC and air to air communications.

Slot booking will take place on the VATSIM CTP dedicated website.

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Navigraph Releases iPad App Update

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Navigraph has released a major update for their Navigraph Charts iPad app.

Available to pilots in the flight simulation community who have a Navigraph account and active subscription, the app offers updated Jeppesen IFR charts on iPads (running iOS 10 or higher).

The update includes new procedure visualization, allowing pilots to use the SID, STAR, and approach overviews to find appropriate procedures to match their routing. The new chart overlay feature allows users to put geo-referenced procedure charts on top of enroute charts, providing increased situational awareness.

The update also includes route calculation features, intelligent procedure selectors, and SimBrief integration – meaning pilots can now transfer their latest operation flight plan with one click.

The iPad app works in conjunction with a suite of Navigraph Charts software that can be installed on both Windows and Mac desktop computers, Android tablets, and be run in most web browsers. The software can connect to FSX, X-Plane, and P3D via provided software.

The app is available in the Apple App Store.

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FS Reborn Announces AI Lights Professional

Developer FS Reborn partnered with AviationLads to announce a professional version of their popular AI Lights Reborn for P3D. The professional edition includes lots of added features, functions and effects to bring your AI traffic to life.

AI Lights Reborn Professional is a utility that enhances the look of your AI aircraft by changing the way AI aircraft lighting looks. The professional edition of AI Lights will build on the already feature rich free edition.

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