WingX: Flight Planning in the Palm of Your Hand

Att-Tilt-300pxI’ve longed use the Web and PC-based flight-planning tools to check the weather, lay out and file flight plans, and retrieve information about airports.

Voyager, my favorite flight-planning program, also prints current instrument approach charts and other essential information that I can carry along in the cockpit. Many FBOs have computers in the flight-planning room, so even when you’re away from home, you can take care of preflight business via the Web.

But not all airports offer such services—the office may not even be open, as I recently discovered on a fine Saturday morning at Walla Walla, an airport with an operating control tower and airline service but nobody at the FBO on weekends.

Cell phone service, however, is available at most airports, and thanks to products like WingX from Hilton Software LLC, all of the online aviation-related services I rely on are available through a Web-enabled PDA, BlackBerry, or Smartphone (the current list of supported devices is on the WingX Web site).

WingXHomePage WingXRoute-1 WingXAFD

To read a detailed assessment of WingX, visit the product review page at

“Taxis in the Skies”

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, has contributed a fascinating article, "Taxis in the Sky," about DayJet, a new on-demand flying service that uses the Eclipse Very Light Jet (VLJ). You can read it online at the Atlantic Web site.

Flying in a Different Era

The latest "Ask the Pilot" column at is an evocative essay about the DC-8 and transatlantic flying in an earlier era, albeit one only 20 years ago. It’s a good read, and a reminder of how quickly aviation has changed, even if some fundamentals, such as cruising speed, haven’t kept pace with high-tech cockpits, more fuel-efficient and reliable engines, and other developments.