Dear Seattle Avionics customer,
The ski slopes opened early this year in Seattle so the holidays must be approaching.
Unfortunately, the folks at the FAA don't seem to have any holiday cheer as it's clear that their new pricing for digital data will mean price increases for all vendors, including Seattle Avionics. The timing is fortuitous, however, in that our traditional Black Friday super-sale is this Friday. You can bet your mistletoe that anyone who's worried about price increases will find something very good in their email on Friday morning (or sooner if you use Twitter). See below for more info on locking in these deals (tip: sign up with twitter now: http://twitter.com/SeattleAvionics).
We're very pleased to announce that our iPhone application -- FreeFlight -- is now in formal beta testing with pilots. We hope to move briskly through beta and into the Apple App Store. This is a very exciting product, not just because it's free (hence the name) but also because it offers super-fast weather, airport information, and sports a Voyager-powered autorouting flight planner.
Flight Log is a recurring newsletter for all Seattle Avionics customers, with the latest news, tips, and tricks. I'm very interested in your feedback, either to the newsletter or to any Seattle Avionics product. Please send any comments or suggestions to me directly at SteveP@SeattleAvionics.com FAA Price Increase
We've been working with the FAA for about nine years and, without exception, they're all great people that are deeply concerned about pilot safety. But they have a fundamental problem (let's call it an opportunity) in that the number of pilots using paper is declining rapidly while the number of "digital" pilots is increasing rapidly. Of course it's much cheaper to distribute electrons than paper but the FAA made real money selling paper charts and currently distributes digital data for next to nothing. As they are mandated by Congress to cover certain aspects of their costs, something has to give. Or rather someone has to give and that someone is me and you. The question is how much.
I did a Webinar on this topic yesterday that I think is worth watching. It's about 30 minutes and explains the dilemma and the impact on pricing you're likely to see. It also explains why we're offering Lifetime ChartData subscriptions for the very last time on this Friday (Black Friday).
|Watch the Webinar (30 minutes)|
|Download the PowerPoint| Black Friday Specials -- Last Chance Lifetime
Now that we know that we'll almost certainly have to pay more for data from the FAA .. but we don't know how much yet .. we'd clearly be insane to offer Lifetime subscriptions for much longer. On the other hand, with all the ChartData we sell, we have a lot of subscribers so adding a few more Lifetime subscriptions won't make much of a difference in the long term (I had a spirited chat with our accounting folks about this one). Hence, on this Friday, get ready for the last chance to buy a Lifetime subscription. This will include offers on virtually all the apps and devices we provide ChartData to, some of which have never had Lifetime offered before.
To keep the accountants from having me committed, I did agree to make the quantities of each offer very limited so it will have to be first-come, first-served. To ensure a position towards the front of the line, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter although we will also send out emails. Sign-up with Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeattleAvionics
Voyager FreeFlight for the iPhone
It's been a while but we're finally in the iPhone business -- or at least in the iPhone beta (test) business. Today we introduced (to testing) an incredibly easy to use, visually compelling, and super-fast app for the iPhone that we think you'll use several times each day.
As the name FreeFlight implies, it's completely free. While it's designed for the iPhone, it runs great on your iPad and is meant to be a terrific companion to the apps written by our partners ForeFlight, WingX, iEFB, Beacon, and SkyRadar.
As I said, it isn't in the App Store quite yet so you can't download it now. But you can sign-up to be notified when it's available by clicking here.
Here are some screenshots to give you a sense of things to come. We'll have much more on it when it's available.
New ChartData Licensees
We've had lots of momentum with our ChartData business lately. In addition to all the major iPad apps, Aspen Avionics, Honeywell, Advanced Flight Systems, and AvMap, we just signed up our first Android-only licensee. And we'll soon be introducing European ChartData to more of our partners (it has been available to Bendix/King AV8OR ACE customers for more than a year). More on all this very soon.
Voyager for Windows
I have to admit that we've been a little slower than usual in updating Voyager for Windows lately while some other projects got more attention. For example, our SkyPad 3 was introduced in the summer and has sold incredibly well from the start. Contrary to what some people think, not everyone wants an iPad in their cockpit.
Moreover, we have made several Voyager releases this year that increased speed, added stability, and made things easier to use (especially larger buttons for in-flight use) but these releases have generally been tailored specifically to the SkyPad 2 or SkyPad 3 and not always released to other customers. We're working hard to make these releases available to everyone very soon.
We're also working on getting additional in-flight weather options into Voyager -- most notably ADS-B. This is our highest single priority for Voyager and we should be testing it in Q1/2012. And we're very excited about the things Microsoft tells us about Windows 8.
Seattle Avionics Software will be showing the SkyPad, FreeFlight for the iPhone, Voyager, and ChartData at the following upcoming events. Stop by to say hello, see the latest features, play with a SkyPad, or ask the experts any questions.
February 25 - 26, 2012. Northwest Aviation Conference & Tradeshow. Puyallup, WA.
March 27 - April 1, 2012. Sun 'n Fun. Lakeland, FL.
Happy Thanksgiving and, until next time, happy flying ... and be certain to sign up with Twitter to get the Black Friday specials.