DTC DUAT and Seattle Avionics, Inc. have unveiled the new DUAT Voyager, a 100% free flight planner. While it downloads weather and TFR information from the Internet, it is not an Internet-based flight planner, and is not subject to the FlightPrep patent, according to Seattle Avionics officials.
FlightPrep, which received a patent on its Internet-based flight planner, has created a stir in the GA community as at least two online flight planning sites have shut down after FlightPrep tried to enforce its patent.
“The aviation community is on-fire with news and rumors about FlightPrep’s patent on Internet-based flight planning,” says Steve Podradchik, CEO of Seattle Avionics. “Seattle Avionics has received many calls and e-mails asking if we’re subject to the patent. As we don’t make an Internet-based flight planner, we’re clearly not subject to it and have not received any letter from FlightPrep. But with so many pilots concerned, we wanted to offer all pilots a free flight planning alternative that is clear of all patent issues. By teaming with DTC DUAT, we can offer outstanding weather and flight planning services and an excellent alternative to FlightPrep’s Golden Eagle.”
DUAT Voyager is a streamlined version of the full Voyager Flight Software system that retains many of the features of the full Voyager product but is faster and easier to use, according to company officials. These features include both Victor and GPS Direct autorouting, a profile view that shows your flight over terrain, automatic background weather downloads, various weather overlays including NexRad radar and altitude-sensitive cloud tops (satellite images), full DUAT briefings, automatic TFR download and overlay, kneeboard printouts, electronic flight plan filing, and much more. Users can use Voyager’s WebSynch feature to transfer flight plans between multiple computers. Flight plans can be exported to Google Earth for 3D flight previews, company officials add.
Pilots can immediately download new DUAT Voyager, free of charge, or find more information here.
DTC, one of two vendors under contract to the FAA to provide the Direct User Access Terminal (DUAT) Service, is an FAA certified weather briefing and flight planning provider that has been in continuous operation since the program’s inception in 1989.