ForeFlight App Shows Airport 3D Previews

 - February 7, 2019, 9:27 AM
ForeFlight's 3D View offers users an aerial perspective of the airport environment.

The ForeFlight Mobile Integrated Flight App’s new version includes an Airport 3D View feature that allows users to examine any airport in the app’s database from a perspective above and near the airport environment. 3D View works on both the iPhone and iPad versions of ForeFlight and is available for subscribers to ForeFlight’s Performance Plus and Business Performance plans.

By combining aerial imagery and high-resolution terrain from Jeppesen, the 3D View feature creates “a realistic and interactive simulation of the airport environment,” according to ForeFlight.

To use 3D View, users simply click on the 3D View button in the airport information tab when viewing any airport in the app. The view opens with a perspective view of the airport, including the msl altitude, distance from the airport, and inclination angle for the runway end nearest to the viewpoint. A user can manipulate the view from the simulated “camera” by touching the screen and panning or zooming around the airport to see the surrounding environment, terrain, and so on.

Pressing a runway number on the button with numbers for each runway end slews the camera viewpoint to 1 nm from the end of the runway end at a preset inclination, either the published glideslope or 6 degrees. The user can manipulate this runway end view by panning with one finger to change the perspective, distance, and inclination, or by pinch-and-zooming with two fingers, in which case the camera doesn’t rotate and the inclination doesn’t change. Zooming along the glideslope allows the user to see what it would look like to fly to the runway end at the selected inclination.

For flights without internet connectivity, users can preload airports in the planned route string by downloading current charts, data, weather, fuel prices, Notams, and 3D Views with the Pack feature.

“Airport 3D View is a powerful new tool that helps ForeFlight customers familiarize themselves with airport surroundings and explore new places to fly,” said ForeFlight co-founder and CEO Tyson Weihs. “In the past, aircraft operators used static pictures of airport environments to get familiar with an airport area. Airport 3D View changes the paradigm and delivers an immersive, next-generation familiarization capability that works worldwide and will help customers more efficiently prepare for flights and ultimately improve safety.”