This new feature rewrites the book on situational awareness, with terrain, real time pitch and bank information, hands-free declutter, and an obstacle awareness system, Sporty’s officials said.
The built-in Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) drives a pitch and bank instrument in the center of the Synthetic Vision view, in addition to speed and altitude tapes.
There is also a new HSI instrument, driven by the Stratus’s WAAS GPS. In an emergency situation, the app offers a backup glass cockpit on your iPad, yet the entire system remains portable and completely wireless.
ForeFlight includes some pilot-friendly features in its Synthetic Vision package, including:
- 3D terrain maps. Based on the same detailed terrain database that ForeFlight uses for its terrain profile tool, the app shows a 3D picture of the world, including bodies of water and mountains.
- Color-coded terrain and obstacle alerts. In addition to the static terrain display, the app color codes both terrain and obstacles based on your altitude to warn of threats. Yellow means it’s within 1,000 feet and red means it’s within 100 feet (or above you). This is useful for both VFR and IFR pilots.
- Smooth decluttering. ForeFlight has a smart system for displaying and hiding obstacles and airport markers, so they automatically appear as you get close, then disappear as you fly over.
- Automatic night mode. Another feature is the app’s transition from a day mode to a more muted night mode. Over the course of about half an hour (and using the sunset/sunrise information for your local area), the app slowly dims the sky and brings up an accurate star field above the horizon. This saves night vision and again, there’s nothing for the pilot to do.
No firmware or hardware upgrades are required to enable Synthetic Vision. Pilots simply download version 6.6 of ForeFlight Mobile and add a Synthetic Vision subscription — a $25/year add-on to your Basic or Pro subscription. This feature is available for United States and Canada coverages, and works with all Stratus 2 units.
Stratus 2 is available for $899.