FARGO, North Dakota — Appareo has acquired Aerovie, developer of the Aerovie electronic flight bag (EFB) suite that includes AHRS and synthetic vision, VFR sectional, IFR low/high, and geo-referenced approach charts.
Appaero introduced the Stratus portable ADS-B receiver in 2012.
While the company has continued expanding on the hardware features and capabilities of Stratus receivers and transponders, it has had to rely on third-party flight apps to interface with the information provided by Stratus receivers, company officials said. The first three generations of Stratus receivers — Stratus 1, Stratus 2, and Stratus 1S/2S/2i — were integrated with ForeFlight Mobile. The latest model, Stratus 3, was designed with “Open ADS-B Mode,” which means it integrates with any EFB app using GDL 90 protocol, officials explain.
With the introduction of Stratus 3 last year, the engineers at Appareo began working with many EFB developers to ensure close integration with the newest model. Aerovie was one of the first companies to support Stratus 3 in its app.
“We were very impressed with the Aerovie team as we worked on the integration, and pleased with how smoothly it went,” said Appareo Aviation President Kris Garberg. “I started flying with the Aerovie app and Stratus 3 last year, and I was so impressed with the features and user experience that it became my ‘go to’ EFB.”
Garberg’s experience flying with Aerovie was the catalyst for Appareo to move toward this acquisition. Knowing that Aerovie was already performing well with Stratus 3, Appareo decided it was time to offer pilots a complete solution of tightly integrated hardware and software, according to Garbarg.
Some of the first additions to the Aerovie EFB will be features that Appareo developed for its own app, Stratus Horizon Pro. Introduced last year, Stratus Horizon Pro offers pilots tools including backup AHRS and Radio Playback, which captures Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications and saves them for one-touch playback. Additionally, there’s a beta feature called Radio Transcription, which converts ATC communications into text that’s displayed directly above the audio playback line.
“The product development team at Appareo Aviation has spent a considerable amount of effort developing speech recognition technology customized for aviation, and we’re excited to embed that cutting-edge technology throughout the Aerovie app,” Garberg said. “Our product roadmap is focused on creating a safer, more convenient way to fly. It centers around a beyond-glass strategy, which is the future of aviation.”
Bryan Heitman, the founder of Aerovie, is a software developer, private pilot, and self-proclaimed weather geek. As the EFB market was getting started, Heitman considered how he could utilize his skills to create something valuable for pilots. When Lockheed Martin Flight Services announced in 2014 they would provide PIREPS into the national air system, Heitman saw an opportunity. He developed AerovieReports, the first app to deliver free PIREPS. AerovieReports grew a following, and Heitman began adding features.
“As a pilot, I was using some of the popular flight apps, but there were gaps in their features. I decided to expand Aerovie to become a flight bag that provided everything I needed,” Heitman said.
Since then, Aerovie has evolved into a cockpit tool designed to make pilots’ lives easier and provide enhanced situational awareness, company officials note.
With the Aerovie acquisition comes good news for pilots who own older models of Stratus receivers. The first enhancement planned for the Aerovie app is support for Stratus 2, 1S, 2S, and 2i.
Aerovie currently offers two subscription plans — $6.99 monthly or $69.99 annually. Current Aerovie app users will not experience a disruption in their service during the acquisition by Appareo, company officials said.
Once additional features are added to the app, current and new subscribers will be able to select from various plan levels. Those subscription options, as well as the app naming and branding, will be revealed later, company officials said.
The Aerovie app is available on the App Store for iOS devices.