AOPA Internet Flight Planner
AIFP 2.0 nearing release, available now as a beta
More than 18 months in the making, the next major release of the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP) is now available to members as a beta. When released, version 2.0 will include many new features pilots have been asking for, along with being faster, easier to use, and iPad-compatible. Members can try it now (you may be prompted to log in). If you are not a member, you can sign up for a free introductory AOPA Flight Training membership to get access.
The beta version, 1.9, is still missing some help and documentation and has not been tested as extensively as the 1.5 version pilots have been using.
Here are some highlights of what's new in AIFP 2.0 (complete list):
- Rubber banding support has been added in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer 8. This feature allows dragging the route line on the chart to "snap" it to a new waypoint.
- Manually type in waypoints to add them to your route in the "Edit Current Route" (formerly Routing Tools) window.
- Communications with the server are more robust, automatically retrying if a connection times out. This reduces the number of "Communications Error" messages on a slow connection.
- Redesigned info windows for airports, VORs, waypoints, and TFRs.
- Automatic selection of default aircraft. Your default aircraft's cruise altitude and home base will be filled in as defaults when planning a new route, making the planning process faster.
- Saving and restoring overlay settings. The chart theme you select (VFR or IFR) is automatically remembered for next time. Selected overlays for each theme can be saved so they will be automatically reapplied.
- New METAR and TAF weather overlays. Each overlay shows icons on the chart pointing out METAR and TAF stations. The METAR icons are color-coded based on the currently reported flight category (VFR, MVFR, IFR, LIFR). Clicking on an icon brings up a window containing both the raw and translated METAR/TAF.
- AIFP 2.0 is iPad compatible. All operations in the application work on the iPad just like on a desktop or laptop. Touchscreen gestures like multitouch zoom are also supported.
Members on the AOPA Forums have been testing the new version for several weeks, and feedback has been largely positive (please note that forum access is for logged-in AOPA members only):
Very very much improved since the original. I'm impressed. DPK1NBA
I find the new version is ideal for pre-planning as you suggest… The rubber banding mode is great, and I am simply having no issues with it on my 3 year old machine. Loads fast, zooms fine, easy to change overlays and remembers your settings. loubetti
If you would like to give feedback, look up known issues, or report an issue with the new version, the best place to go is the AIFP beta testing forum.
The AIFP team is working diligently to finish the product, coordinate with testers, train staff, and update all the help files so that AIFP 2.0 can launch before the end of March 2011. Look for an article in the March edition of AOPA Pilot magazine with more information.
January 4, 2011