FlightMate

Requirements

The architecture was to be comprised of main shell and plugins: FlightMate Utilities, FlightMate Airports, and FlightMate Weather.

The application was to allow for installing of different plugin combinations.

Our Customer, who is a supplier of branch application software for air industry, turned to us to develop a Pocket PC application for airmen utilizing Wi-Fi and/or GPRS technologies providing for vast functionality that would cover the utmost information needs of pilots and airmen.

  • FlightMate Utilities – for featuring calculators, converters, and handbooks. It also allows for common plugins settings configuring, as well as launching standard Calculator and Notes
  • FlightMate Airports – for working with world airport database including FactBook for providing information on any country worldwide
  • FlightMate Weather – for retrieving and displaying various information on weather in airports set via ICAO in easy-to-follow way

Challenge

The FlightMate Airports was to work with some 10,000 entries database. The functionality was to provide functions that would cover literally any data needs, including:

  • airport search by different parameters and filters in database
  • selected airport strip location sketch
  • displaying alternative airports with airstrip length no less than the set one and located within the straight course and provided corridor width
  • displaying distance between departure and destination points
  • saving/restoring airport list (as well as departure/destination points) via the airport list fly-out menu
  • interconnection with FlightMate Weather plugin

Another challenge for FlightMate Airports was to provide for potential enabling airports database update (uploading) but keeping user notes per airports, if any.

Another challenge was in calculating distance between airports using geographical coordinates and the great circle formulae.

When implementing the FlightMate Weather plugin, QArea developers faced another challenges. The plugin was to provide for the following functionality, but not limited to:

  • downloading various html weather reports in one or several airports utilizing different Internet wireless access technologies (BlueTooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS)
  • NOTAM reports pages alignment, in case ICAO list contains over 12 pcs. (since the site does not allow for downloading a weather report in more than 12 airports at a time)

Solution

The FlightMate Airports plugin functionality was implemented providing for some 25 functions. Internet connectivity is provided using WinInet application programming interface. For servicing DB, MS SQL CE is applied. Implemented was also the following functionality:

Interaction with FlightMate Weather plugin - allowing for TAF, TAFs/METARs, NOTAM weather reports viewing. Interaction with FactBook - displaying state flags beside DEP and DES input fields as well as on each tab of airport additional information. Opening page with country info upon flag clicking.

The FlightMate Weather plugin functionality was implemented providing for the following functionality, not limited to:

Environment

Platform/OS: WindowsCE 2002, 2003, 2003SE, 2003 Phone Edition

Language: C++

Tools: Embedded Visual Studio C++ 3.0

  • For downloading weather html reports in one or several airports (TAF, TAFs/METARs, and NOTAM).
  • For NOTAM foreseen is pages patching, in case ICAO list contains over 12 pcs.
  • Also implemented is downloading and playing of MPEG-weather change report within 2 days in Europe (satellite survey). Playing is performed using a MPEG-player installed.

  • Wind chart downloading - Weather Charts is selected as an individual kind of weather reports and can be configured individually (continent, time zone, scale) along with site login parameters.
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