Dear Voyager User,

Adios Voyager 4.0 beta test version; hello Voyager 4.0 shipping product!  Thanks to literally hundreds of beta testers, Voyager 4.0 is now available to everyone.

I'd also like to say a special thanks to the record-number of new customers who joined the Voyager family at the recent Sun 'N Fun show in Lakeland, Florida.  While I was personally there a little late (it was rough, I was on vacation with my family in Hawaii....), folks clearly appreciated the vastly faster charting engine now in Voyager 4.0 and the completely redesigned GlassView inflight system.

There is a lot that's new in V4 so we'll hold a special Webinar on Wednesday, May 28 at 1:30 PM Pacific.  I'll be at the mouse.  Click here to sign-up for this free special event.

Flight Log 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 directly at

Back issues of Flight Log are available from our Web site at

Picture of the Month Voyager 4.0 Shipping
How to Upgrade What's New in Voyager 4.0?
Feature Focus: Chart Button Tips and Tricks
Upcoming Events  

Picture of the Month

Here's some of the team at Sun 'N Fun.  If you missed the show (we know that not everyone likes spending a week looking at planes ;)  you can still get some of our "Show Specials" until May 31.  See below.

Voyager 4.0 Shipping

Voyager 4.0 is now available for general download.  It's a free upgrade from your current version of Voyager if you're current with your ChartData subscription.  If your subscription has lapsed, this would be a great time to renew at a special price.

And, if you're a FreeFlight user, I might suggest you download a five day free trial of Voyager 4.0.  In addition to the much, much faster charting engine, you'll see fuel prices, true scanned charts and get a much more powerful autorouter that avoids selected airspace and picks fuel stops based on current fuel prices.  And, just until May 31, you upgrade for the same special prices we offered at Sun 'N Fun.

How to Upgrade

If you're a customer with a current ChartData subscription:  Just fire-up Voyager and it will tell you there's a new version available and tell you what to do.

If your ChartData subscription has lapsed:  Run Voyager and you'll get a message that a new version is available but a subscription is required to get it.  This would be a great time to renew and, just until May 31, we're offering the same discounted prices we offered at Sun 'N Fun.  When you renew, you'll get not only a year of ChartData service but also Voyager 4.0.  Click below to take advantage of the special pricing.


($20 off)
All the data you need for safe, fuel-efficient VFR planning during the next 12 months.  Includes all data updates and new versions of Voyager (including Voyager 4.0) during that time.


($50 off)

All the data an IFR pilot needs for IFR planning including approach plates, IFR and VFR charts and monthly data updates during the next 12 months.  Includes all data updates and new versions of Voyager (including Voyager 4.0) during that time.


($50 off)


All the data you need for inflight use.  Includes geo-referenced approach plates (see your plane's position on the plates and airport diagrams as you fly), VFR and IFR charts and monthly data updates during the next 12 months.  Includes all data updates and new versions of Voyager (including Voyager 4.0) during that time.

If you're a FreeFlight user:  I might suggest you download a five-day free trial of Voyager 4.0.  In addition to the much, much faster charting engine, you'll see fuel prices, true scanned Charts and get a much more powerful autorouter that avoids selected airspace and picks fuel stops based on current fuel prices.  Click any of URLs below to download the new version.

And then purchase at the same nicely discounted prices we offered at Sun 'N Fun.


Everything you need to quickly plan safe, fuel-efficient VFR flights.
Includes: SmartPlan Premier + 6 Months of VFR ChartData Subscription



Everything an IFR pilot needs to comply with FAA IFR regulations and plan safe, fuel efficient IFR and VFR flights.

Includes: SmartPlan Premier + SmartPlates + 6 Months of IFR ChartData Subscription



All the software you need for inflight and preflight use with a laptop or Tablet PC.

Includes: GlassView + SmartPlan Premier + SmartPlates + 6 Months of EFB ChartData Subscription

What's New in Voyager 4.0?

Simply put: a lot.  A quick summary is below but a detailed document, with all the changes and how to use the new features, is available as a PDF from our Web site.


  • Speed.  The new charting engine is at least 50x faster than the old one because it leverages the power of your computer's video card via a Microsoft technology called DirectX.  This is the same basic technology behind Google Earth, Microsoft Flight Simulator, etc.  Pans, zooms, jumps, etc. are all nearly real-time.

  • Scanned Charts Everywhere.  While the Chart Viewer from Voyager 3.6 is still there, you can now display scanned Sectionals, IFR Low, or IFR High charts on any chart then overlay TFRs, fuel prices, radar and satellite images, etc.  View on-screen or print.

  • 2D and 3D HITS.  The new charting engine works equally well in either traditional 2D or 3D Highway In The Sky (HITS) mode.  One click of the new 3D button and the system smoothly transitions from 2D to 3D and back again.

  • GlassView 4.0.  All new.  Much, much faster.  Larger buttons and text everywhere, easier to use Direct To features, scanned charts, etc.

But there is much, much more.  Take a look at the detailed What's New document for nearly 30 pages of enhancements.  And be sure to sign-up for the live What's New in Voyager 4.0 Webinar on Wednesday, May 28 at 1:30 PM Pacific.

Feature Focus:  Button

In the coming months, I'll use this new Feature Focus space to discuss a specific feature in-depth.  The new Chart button is my first focus.

Previous version of Voyager introduced a lower button bar with common commands.  Voyager 4.0 extends on this concept considerably, most notably with the new Chart button.  In a nutshell, click the Chart button if you want to change what's shown on the Chart. 

This new button combines the most commonly-used commands from the Themes menu, the Wx button, and the Chart menu at the top of the screen.  Less commonly-used tasks (like creating and managing themes) are still accessed from a top menu.

The items below the line are commonly-used themes and custom themes you've created.  For example, click Sectional (Digital) to display a computer-generated (digital) version of a standard Sectional that automatically declutters and repositions text as you zoom out or rotate.  Or select Sectional (Scanned) to download and display the actual scanned Sectional Charts created by the FAA.  Like Google Earth, Voyager automatically downloads 'bits' of the appropriate Sectionals to create a seamless Sectional over your flying area.  Similarly, select IFR Enroute Low in either Digital or Scanned variant and see either a computer-generated (digital) version of a Low Altitude chart or the real FAA version.

Tip:  In previous versions of Voyager, printed Charts used a Chart theme you specified in the Print Setup dialog box that was unrelated to what you saw on the screen, which could be confusing and frustrating.  In Voyager 4.0, printed Charts use the Chart settings you see on the screen It's what computer folks call WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).  As an example, to print a flight plan with scanned Charts, simply ensure that a Scanned Sectional or IFR chart is on the screen and click Print (the appropriate chart 'bits' must be downloaded first).

Additional commands that affect the Chart are shown above the line:

  • Click Customize Chart to modify the current Chart in great detail.  This command shows a redesigned Chart dialog box that lets you turn any Chart layer (terrain, water, airspace, airports, etc.) on or off as well as set options specific to each layer.  For example, Voyager generally displays fuel prices for airports with known prices.  You can turn that off within the Customize Chart dialog box by selecting the Airports layer and unchecking Show fuel prices.  Or change the Range at which different Chart elements appear (for example, by default, Class B airports are shown well before Class E airports and soft-field only airports are often hidden entirely).

  • In previous versions of Voyager, it wasn't always clear if a change you made to the Chart would 'stick' for the next time the Chart was shown.  In Voyager 4.0, we made it very simple:  Changes you make to the Chart are NOT saved unless you specifically select Save Chart Settings from the Chart button.  Thus, turning weather layers on or changing the range at which specific element appears works for the current screen but is not saved automatically.  This makes it easier to experiment without making a change that's hard to undo.  Also, speaking of undo, if you've made lots of changes to the Chart themes and you want to go back to 'factor settings', select Edit from the Themes menu then click Restore presets.

  • Click Show Chart Viewer to show the full scanned Charts, much the same as in Voyager 3.x.  The Chart Viewer lets you download and display any scanned Chart you like, including Sectionals, IFR Charts, WACs, and TACs.  Any Sectional or IFR Chart you download now includes both the full scanned Chart and also the complimentary 'bits' that the main Chart area uses (for technical reasons, each set of images has to be processed differently although they are both derived from the same base FAA charts).  Tip:  The Chart Viewer has a feature called the Download Manager that makes it easy to keep up-to-date on the Charts you use most often.  Within the Chart Viewer, click to show the Download Manager.  Put a checkmark next to the Charts you typically use and, when they expire, Voyager will automatically download the new versions.

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

Attend the Webinar (live online training session).  On Wednesday, May 28, we'll have a very special Webinar presented by yours truly that goes over many of the new features in Voyager 4.0.  Click here to sign-up now; it's absolutely free.  In about an hour, you'll see what's new about Voyager 4.0.  You can even ask questions and have them answered during the Webinar!
Read What's New in Voyager 4.0.  There are a lot of new features and changes in this major release.  This document goes over the changes quickly but with great detail.  It won't win a Pulitzer Prize but gets the information across.
Download and Print The New User's Guide.  The 300+ page Voyager User's Guide has been updated for Voyager 4.0.  This very detailed document covers just about everything in Voyager.  However, the What's New document is much more succinct if you're already familiar with Voyager.
Displaying Scanned Sectionals.  For many pilots, the ability to display true FAA Sectionals and Low-Altitude charts in the main Chart area was at the top of their request list.  And here it is.

Once a Chart or Flight Plan is open, simply click the new Chart button at the bottom of the screen then select either Sectional (Scanned) or IFR Enroute Low (Scanned) and Voyager begins downloading and displaying the appropriate chart pieces.  Note:  You do not need to select which chart to display or use the Chart Viewer to download the Chart; like Google Earth, Voyager simply downloads the Chart 'bits' it needs on the fly.  Of course, before you use Voyager in the plane (presumably without an Internet connection), be sure to view all the Chart bits you'll need first so they're cached on your hard disk.

Tip:  The Download Manager, accessed via the Chart Viewer, can mass-download any Sectional or IFR Charts you like and ensure that they stay updated automatically as they expire.

Animate Weather.   Weather has a tendency to change; typically for the worse (similarly, when you're running, all hills seem to go up).  Click the new Animate Weather command from the Wx button and Voyager animates weather changes for the past two hours, making it very easy to see trends.
Keep Your Charts Up(dated) The Chart Manager makes it very easy to automatically keep your frequently used scanned Charts current.  Select Chart Viewer from the View menu, then click and put checkmarks next to your favorite Charts.   Voyager confirms that it has the latest of each of these Charts when it starts and, if not, downloads the revised Charts in the background while you work.
Printing a Strip of Sectionals or Low Altitude Charts.  Easy.  Simply open your flight plan, click the Chart button to switch to either Sectional (Scanned) or IFR Enroute Low (Scanned) and Print (Print from the File menu or click the Print icon on the top toolbar).  The only thing to keep in mind is that the Chart 'bits' must be downloaded before they can be printed.  See Keep Your Charts Up(dated) above.
Personal Layouts.  Voyager 4.0 introduces a new type of Layout called a Personal Layout.  As the name implies, it's a way to customize a Layout exactly the way you want to see it, including chart themes, zooms, etc.  In GlassView it also lets you select whether or not TAWS, Track Up, etc. are on.  To create a Personal Layout, simply configure the screen exactly how you like it including the Chart theme (or themes if using a two Chart GlassView layout), the zoom range you want, etc. then click the Layout button at the bottom and select Save Layout Settings.  Voyager shows a dialog box that confirms and lets you modify any of these settings.  Simply name your new Layout, pick an icon, and you're good to go.  You can switch to this Layout in the future by selecting it from the Layout button. You can also pick a Personal Layout as the default Layout used by GlassView by selecting Options from the Tools menu and picking your desired Layout from the Default GlassView layout list.
What's New?  We make changes frequently so it's easy to lose track of things if you don't use Voyager every day.  For a quick refresher, select What's New in This Version from the Help menu.
Out With The Old.  Previously, once a flight plan or aircraft profile was put on the Web Synch server, you had to call or email us to delete it.  Now it's just a click away.  Select Web Synch from the File menu and click the text link to Delete Old Items from WebSynch.  This jumps you to a page on our Web site that makes it easy to delete any items you no longer need.  That said, be sure to also delete these same items from each of your computers or when you next synch that computer, the items will be copied back to the server.
Update Your Video Driver.  Voyager 4.0, like Google Earth and Microsoft Flight Simulator, is very much dependent on your computer's video card and, perhaps even more so, on the video card driver.  Even if the video card or computer is new (in fact, especially when either is new), there is often an updated video driver that enhances performance and fixes problems.  Microsoft DirectX and Voyager 4.0 depend on the video card driver so any weakness in the driver may be very obvious by stray lines or generally garbled images.  Thus, it's a very, very good idea to ensure that you have the latest video driver for your card.  Oddly, the automated Microsoft Update mechanism does not usually find updated drivers so you'll need to check your video card manufacture's Web site.  Click below for more information such as how to determine which video card your machine has and how to update the driver.

Upcoming Events

Seattle Avionics Software will be showing Voyager at the following upcoming events.  Stop by to say hello, see the latest Voyager features, and ask the experts any questions you have about Voyager.

June 7, 2008.  AOPA Fly-In.  Frederick, MD. 

July 28 - August 4, 2008:  AirVenture 2008.  Oshkosh, WI.

November 6 - 8, 2008.  AOPA Expo.  San Jose, CA.

Until next time, happy flying.

 - Steve Podradchik, CEO (and Editor)

Seattle Avionics Software, Inc.
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