Dear Voyager User,
There is a lot to talk about this month. The
big news in the world of computing is the release of Microsoft's latest
operating system, Vista. I'll discuss what this means to you as a
Voyager user. I'll also introduce our new 'Webinars' — live,
interactive demos that make you feel like you're at a tradeshow watching
a one-on-one demo from a Voyager expert. And finally, at only 100 years young, aviation is just getting started
— and the future is
spectacular. As an example, I'll talk about a meeting I had with
Dr. Brien Seeley, president of the CAFE Foundation, dedicated to making safe,
inexpensive personal air vehicles a reality.
is a recurring newsletter for all Voyager users with the latest Voyager news, tips and tricks.
I'm very interested in your feedback, either to the newsletter or to
Voyager itself. Please send any comments or suggestions to me
Back issues of Flight Log
are available from our Web site at
of the Month
Look closely at the picture above.
See anything different?nbsp; This is Voyager running under the new
Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. If you look very
closely, you'll also notice that we updated the Voyager icon to match
Vista's looks, and you'll see the new semi-transparent window
title bars and borders that Vista uses. Pretty cool.
Microsoft Windows Vista
an old saying that you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.
On January 30, Microsoft introduced their newest omelet, Microsoft
Windows Vista. Vista certainly is the most attractive Microsoft
operating system yet and promises to be its most stable and secure.
But, like all omelets, a few eggs got cracked in the
process. Thankfully, Voyager was written from the
ground up using the latest Microsoft technology, so Voyager
was only slightly cracked, with the most obvious problem being with Setup, not Voyager itself. During the past few weeks, we've worked to
make a few changes to Voyager to make it "Vista-ready," and of course,
tweak a few other things at the same time.
anyone not currently using Vista, getting the new version (184.108.40.206357)
is as simple as doing a normal Voyager update (by selecting Update
Application from the Tools menu). However, if you've already taken the journey to
Vista, Voyager's old automatic update system won't quite work (due to
Vista's enhanced security) and you'll
need to download and install a full copy of Voyager. As always,
you can get a list of our download locations from:
version '357 also addresses some other issues, most notably with XM
support and some high-performance aircraft profile issues.
Want an (almost) Personal Tour of Voyager From the Expert?
||We consistently hear that
while getting started with Voyager is easy, there is so much
depth to the product that folks could spend days learning all
the nuances. In addition to the detailed Help files,
printed documentation and
self-running demos, we just started offering
live seminars. Delivered over the Web right to your
computer, these free 'Webinars' are done live by our Master of
Demo, John Rutter. He'll spend an hour or more giving the
same in-depth demos he gives at tradeshows. The
demo starts by covering Voyager basics and then progressing into
all the details of each individual Voyager module. Best of
all, it's interactive so you can ask questions and get immediate
answers or see your specific topics covered in detail.
All you need is a Web browser.
The demos are scheduled for most
Friday afternoons. Pre-registration is
sign up now as space is limited. Be sure to mention if
there are specific topics you want covered.
FreeFlight Users - Save Money and Time by Upgrading to Full Voyager
be biased, but I think FreeFlight is a terrific product.
But did you know how much time and money the full version of Voyager can
The SmartPlan module in the full Voyager automatically
optimizes for best winds, substantially reducing your fuel bill.
SmartPlates module is a must-have for any IFR pilot.
Monthly updates to all 13,500 + US procedures are absolutely free
(there is a reason we call it Smart Plates).
Save Time (and Sanity)
SmartPlan automatically finds fuel stops and avoids TFRs and
other nasty airspace.
With a ChartData subscription, you get the
true FAA Sectionals, IFR High and Low Enroute, WACs, and TACs.
Have more than one computer?nbsp; Our exclusive
Synch feature means that you can plan a flight on one machine, click
a button, and have that new plan and all your pilot and aircraft
profiles automatically synchronized with your other computers.
to give these features a spin? Simply run FreeFlight, then select
Modules from the Tools menu. Check the modules you
want to test-drive and click OK. And, as the next topic
mentions, this is a terrific time to upgrade.
"Any Module for $99" Sale Extended Until
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007
By now you should have seen an email that
mentioned that you, as an existing Voyager user, can add any Voyager
module (SmartPlan Premier, SmartPlates or GlassView) for just $99 — 50%
off the standard price of most of these modules. Sales asked me to
mention that we've extended the sale by a few days to this Saturday
because the response has been incredible and it's taken so long to send
emails to everyone (in these days of rampant spam filters, you just
can't send tens of thousands of emails at once).
Click here for more information.
Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge - Make a Difference
the 1940's, magazines like Popular Mechanics have trumpeted the imminent
arrival of small personal air vehicles that would make commuting a dream
and traffic jams a bad memory. Of course, this hasn't come about
yet but with recent advances in avionics, small jet engines and
materials science, a variation of this, the Personal Air Vehicle (PAV),
might just might arrive in our lifetime. This vision of the PAV
isn't a daily commuter vehicle but a safe, economical plane ideal for
400 - 800 mile trips that's about as easy to fly as driving an SUV. Dr. Brien Seeley
is a man who not only believes this, but actively is working to make it a
reality. He runs the CAFE Foundation, a group that ran the popular
CAFE 400 races in the 1980's. Now CAFE has turned its eye toward a
contest similar to the X-Prize in that it aims to substantially advance
aviation via a large prize. Specifically, thanks to NASA's
funding, CAFE will award $250,000 to groups that help make the PAV a
I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Seeley. Like many of
us, Dr. Seeley is a professional by day (an eye surgeon), and an aviation
enthusiast in all remaining moments. He says that there are many
teams from all around the world actively preparing to compete. At
Seattle Avionics, one thing that especially interests us is their
concept of an Electronic CFI (eCFI), a computer system that would actively
assist the pilot in flying the plane and even be able to take over in
case of an emergency. (The name is based on the fact that, far and away,
the safest GA flights are made when there is a CFI in the plane.)
While the eCFI doesn't exist yet, Seattle Avionics is helping them with
it and, in the meantime, is donating each competing team the complete
Voyager suite of modules.
Seeley and his team are doing great work and are devoting their time and
money to the project, but they can't do everything. In particular,
they need about $50,000 in additional funding to cover the cost of
insurance and other incidentals to make the contest a reality. We
ask you to consider donating to the CAFE Foundation to help bring
aviation into future. You can learn more from:
Tips and Tricks
As always, please send your questions and
favorite tips to
A reminder that past Tips and Tricks are
available from our Web site at
Watch the Video.
Yes, this is a repeat from last month, but if you haven't seen the
3.5 What's New video, you should consider doing so.
In just 15 minutes you'll get a good overview of the many changes.
Improve Your Altitude. Voyager has always been able to give you
the fastest route by taking winds into account, perhaps taking you
up and down a little more often than some people like. Voyager
3.5 introduces a way to either pick the single best altitude or go
up and down to minimize your flight time. Within the autorouter options page, select either One best altitude or
Vary altitude by leg from the Wind Optimization
Export to Garmin or Lowrance.
Yes, you can take it with you. If you have a
Lowrance or Garmin handheld GPS, SmartPlan Premier lets you export a
flight plan to your device so you have one less pre-flight chore.
Simply open the plan, then select Send to PDA/GPS/Application from
the File menu (or click the icon to the left).
Customize the NavLog. In Voyager most things are customizable, and
the NavLog is no exception. Voyager uses different settings for
the on-screen NavLog and a printed NavLog so that they can be customized
differently. To add or remove columns from the on-screen NavLog,
select Customize NavLog from the Plan menu or click the
icon to the left (above the NavLog). To change the printed NavLog, select Print Setup from
the File menu and choose Standard Navigation Log.
Forget About the Past. Voyager keeps
a list of the most recently used flight plans. From time to time,
pilots ask how to clean up by clearing the list. Select Options
from the Tools menu, then click the Clear List of Recently
Opened Files button.
Add Your Plane's Picture or Company Logo.
When you print a Voyager flight plan, the first page is a cover page
with basic flight info and the Voyager logo. If you'd prefer
to see a picture of your plane, simply go into your plane's profile
(Lists | Aircraft | <Your Plane> | Edit)
and click the Browse button in the photo area.
Now the Cover Page will print your plane's picture.
Alternately, if you'd prefer a company logo or any other picture,
select Print Setup from the File menu and select the
Cover Page option. Use the Browse button to
select your photo.
Share Scanned Charts Between
Computers. Voyager 3.5 includes the complete set of scanned
FAA Sectionals, IFR, etc. Charts. Each of these files is
relatively large, so downloading a full set can take some time — not
the sort of thing you'd like to do for two or three computers.
Luckily, it's easy to put the Charts on a memory card or USB memory
stick and share them between all your computers. Simply select
Options from the Tools menu and choose the
Preferences tab. Use the Scanned charts folder
option to point to a directory on the memory card. Thus, when
new Charts are downloaded they go onto the memory card, and when you
want to use a different machine just take the memory card to the
Fly Multiple Planes? As you
probably know, Voyager lets you create as many different plane
profiles as you like, and makes it easy to set one as the default
choice. However, if you have two or three planes that you
routinely fly, finding each in the list can be a little tedious.
A good trick is to rename each plane's profile to something at the
top of the alphabet so it's sorted to the top. For example, if
you routinely fly a Bonanza, a 172 and an RV-7,
try naming the planes A - My Bonanza, A - My 172, and
A - My RV-7.
Quick Route. A very
popular new feature in Voyager 3.5 is the ability to quickly enter a
route or partial route and plan a flight with a click, bypassing the
Wizard. For example, to fly between Boeing Field in Seattle (BFI)
and Santa Barbara (SBA), you can enter BFI SBA and
click OK. Voyager will automatically wind-optimize and
find fuel stops, using your choice of Victor, Jet or
GPS routing. You can even enter airway idents and/or
SIDs and STARs. This works from either the Plan a Flight tab
of the Tasks window (View | Tasks) or from the New
Flight Plan window (File | New).
Seattle Avionics Software will be showing Voyager
and our new Tablet PC devices at the following upcoming events. Stop by to say hello, see the
latest Voyager features, and ask the experts any questions you have about
Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show, Puyallup, Washington
Sun 'N Fun, Lakeland, Florida
Until next time, happy flying!
- Steve Podradchik, CEO (and Editor)