ForeFlight Adds Jet Capability


The world of tablet apps has exploded with sophisticated flight planning and management capability, but jet operators haven’t necessarily been included in the fun. This week at NBAA BACE in Orlando, ForeFlight announced an upgraded version of its iOS app aimed specifically at the unique needs of jet operators.

“Doing flight planning for higher-end airplanes is actually a pretty involved process,” ForeFlight cofounder Tyson Weihs told us in this podcast recorded at NBAA this week. “When you’re flying a jet, there’s all sorts of things that impact performance … what are the environmental conditions, what’s the performance of the airplane at different weights and temperatures? So we’ve spent the past couple of years assembling the technology to be able to provide that function to pilots,” he added.

The jet-centric capability is not a new app, but an added level of sophistication for the latest version of ForeFlight, which will be available on the app store early next year. In addition to increased functionality on the tablet or smartphone, the app also has seamless integration with ForeFlight’s web planning tools, meaning that operators with dispatch departments can keep support staff in the loop in real time.

Weihs said the jet features increase the speed that the pilot can do flight and scenario planning for any conceivable array of variables. If a pilot adds fuel or baggage, for example, the flight plan can be updated in under a second. Thanks to cloud computing capability, the app is capable of performing millions of flight plan calculations almost as fast as the pilot can plug in the data. Also beginning next year, ForeFlight will add additional capability for filing flight plans outside the U.S.

“It’s really a next-generation platform that computes a substantial number of route options to account for constraints of the airspace, constraints of the airplane and it’s doing all that in under a second,” Weihs said.