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Synthetic Vision


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grahamb
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TXR - 6/9/2021 5:03:08 PM
It's been 7 years, actually, 10 since the same topic was raised in a different thread. And still nothing on the horizon? Foreflight and Garmin have it. Xavion has it. There is a plethora of mobile steady-state AHRS boxes out there, which can also pull traffic, weather etc. through ADS-B and display it on the EFB software (okay, weather only in the US). 
Only SD isn't doing this. I love SD. I think the way maps and airspaces are presented is hands-down the best. I love the ease of setting different altitudes for different legs. I love the airspace warnings in the planning stage. You can tell the others are Americans who really don't understand VFR flying in Europe ...
B U T - why can't we get SynVis?

What does SynVis actually give you when flying under VFR? 

What I really mean is ‘What benefit would there be to the majority of SD users to make it worthwhile adding huge complexity, processing demand along with significant development investment and maintenance overhead to the product?’

The fact that other products offer it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right thing for SD.

TXR
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ckurz7000 - 5/6/2014 9:15:57 AM
At the current level of technology, GPS accuracy and terrain elevation resolution and accuracy are simply not at the point where SV is a viable option. The only thing SV does well is look snazzy.

A lot of GPS and EFIS devices now offer SV. They do this because it looks good, not because it is a good idea. And looks sell.

Being Austrian, I fly a lot in and around the Alps. There have been many situations where SV would have gotten me into serious trouble. It simply is not fit as a terrain avoidance tool. And it certainly isn't fit as a good navigation tool either. In finding the right valley in a situation of low ceilings and low visibility I need a good overview of the situation for miles around me. Not an inaccurate representation of what I can see looking out the front window anyway. There simply is no scenario I can think of where SV would have been helpful to me flying VFR.

And no one flying IFR that I know uses SV either.

-- Chris.

Well, it's seven years later and I think the situation has changed quite a bit. We're no longer talking GNS430 accuracy. Terrain resolution and GPS position accuracy - esp. from 3rd party suppliers - are no longer an issue. I don't know how close you plan to get to the mountains in limited vis, but GPS now is more than good enough to stay clear of mountain tops, cables and antennas. Garmin and Foreflight (at home in the hell hole of product liability - the US) don't seem to have an issue with it.
I fly in Switzerland and I get your point about a bird's eye view to pick the right valley. But I don't think anyone is suggesting to replace the map view with SynVis. It would simply be another option. Very useful in night flying, for instance - not as your primary navigation tool, but as confirmation that you're sufficiently keeping your distance from things and to help you visualise your surroundings.

Tim Dawson
Tim Dawson
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We've seen very little actual demand for synthetic vision in SkyDemon. A lot of people think it's cool (us included) but most acknowledge that in VFR flight, it's hard to envisage a situation where it would be truly helpful. I think it's very unlikely that we would ever include it in SkyDemon.
TXR
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grahamb - 6/9/2021 5:25:58 PM
TXR - 6/9/2021 5:03:08 PM
It's been 7 years, actually, 10 since the same topic was raised in a different thread. And still nothing on the horizon? Foreflight and Garmin have it. Xavion has it. There is a plethora of mobile steady-state AHRS boxes out there, which can also pull traffic, weather etc. through ADS-B and display it on the EFB software (okay, weather only in the US). 
Only SD isn't doing this. I love SD. I think the way maps and airspaces are presented is hands-down the best. I love the ease of setting different altitudes for different legs. I love the airspace warnings in the planning stage. You can tell the others are Americans who really don't understand VFR flying in Europe ...
B U T - why can't we get SynVis?

What does SynVis actually give you when flying under VFR? 

What I really mean is ‘What benefit would there be to the majority of SD users to make it worthwhile adding huge complexity, processing demand along with significant development investment and maintenance overhead to the product?’

The fact that other products offer it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right thing for SD.

Two answers:
1) Night VFR
2) Customer retention

Let's face it, with ever-increasing connectivity between mobile devices and avionics, SD is going to find it increasingly difficult to defend its position as a standalone solution in the cockpit. Despite, in my view, superior support for VFR flying, particularly in Europe. The pull towards an "all-Garmin" setup - avionics, EFB, watch - is strong. Not having to dial & click 18 waypoints into the NavCom before the flight is very tempting. Feature-richness might be one factor that keeps people from switching. Connectivity might be another. This didn't used to be a problem with steam gauges and GNS430s. But even many old club planes get upgraded to glass these days and people will want to benefit from the convenience options.

grahamb
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TXR - 6/11/2021 6:28:43 PM
grahamb - 6/9/2021 5:25:58 PM
TXR - 6/9/2021 5:03:08 PM
It's been 7 years, actually, 10 since the same topic was raised in a different thread. And still nothing on the horizon? Foreflight and Garmin have it. Xavion has it. There is a plethora of mobile steady-state AHRS boxes out there, which can also pull traffic, weather etc. through ADS-B and display it on the EFB software (okay, weather only in the US). 
Only SD isn't doing this. I love SD. I think the way maps and airspaces are presented is hands-down the best. I love the ease of setting different altitudes for different legs. I love the airspace warnings in the planning stage. You can tell the others are Americans who really don't understand VFR flying in Europe ...
B U T - why can't we get SynVis?

What does SynVis actually give you when flying under VFR? 

What I really mean is ‘What benefit would there be to the majority of SD users to make it worthwhile adding huge complexity, processing demand along with significant development investment and maintenance overhead to the product?’

The fact that other products offer it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right thing for SD.

Two answers:
1) Night VFR
2) Customer retention

Let's face it, with ever-increasing connectivity between mobile devices and avionics, SD is going to find it increasingly difficult to defend its position as a standalone solution in the cockpit. Despite, in my view, superior support for VFR flying, particularly in Europe. The pull towards an "all-Garmin" setup - avionics, EFB, watch - is strong. Not having to dial & click 18 waypoints into the NavCom before the flight is very tempting. Feature-richness might be one factor that keeps people from switching. Connectivity might be another. This didn't used to be a problem with steam gauges and GNS430s. But even many old club planes get upgraded to glass these days and people will want to benefit from the convenience options.

In my experience and in speaking to lots of pilots, which I do, Night VFR is a tiny proportion of all flights, and Terrain Colouring already provides a useful tool to assist in additional terrain awareness in conditions of limited visibility. If one observes the Night VFR rules, why would one need SynVis? 

Customer retention is a complex issue with many factors. I think Tim knows quite a bit about capturing and retaining customers. If the data told him that people are drifting away to other products due to lack of SynVis I’m sure he’d respond accordingly, but it would seem to not be something  that the market currently sees as important. 

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Well, I can definitely say that it will increase by leaps and bounds your situational awareness.
Personally, I wouldn't fly at all, especially in the U.S., without Foreflight and Stratux, because they reduce your workload tremendously thus leaving you more time to deal with the other stuff.
Nobody is asking for a Honeywell-like or Garmin level of complexity, but I think everyone will agree that reading-off a 3D picture is waaay more easier for human brain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBh4JPt_Wzs
TXR
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grahamb - 6/12/2021 5:21:41 AM
TXR - 6/11/2021 6:28:43 PM
grahamb - 6/9/2021 5:25:58 PM
TXR - 6/9/2021 5:03:08 PM
It's been 7 years, actually, 10 since the same topic was raised in a different thread. And still nothing on the horizon? Foreflight and Garmin have it. Xavion has it. There is a plethora of mobile steady-state AHRS boxes out there, which can also pull traffic, weather etc. through ADS-B and display it on the EFB software (okay, weather only in the US). 
Only SD isn't doing this. I love SD. I think the way maps and airspaces are presented is hands-down the best. I love the ease of setting different altitudes for different legs. I love the airspace warnings in the planning stage. You can tell the others are Americans who really don't understand VFR flying in Europe ...
B U T - why can't we get SynVis?

What does SynVis actually give you when flying under VFR? 

What I really mean is ‘What benefit would there be to the majority of SD users to make it worthwhile adding huge complexity, processing demand along with significant development investment and maintenance overhead to the product?’

The fact that other products offer it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right thing for SD.

Two answers:
1) Night VFR
2) Customer retention

Let's face it, with ever-increasing connectivity between mobile devices and avionics, SD is going to find it increasingly difficult to defend its position as a standalone solution in the cockpit. Despite, in my view, superior support for VFR flying, particularly in Europe. The pull towards an "all-Garmin" setup - avionics, EFB, watch - is strong. Not having to dial & click 18 waypoints into the NavCom before the flight is very tempting. Feature-richness might be one factor that keeps people from switching. Connectivity might be another. This didn't used to be a problem with steam gauges and GNS430s. But even many old club planes get upgraded to glass these days and people will want to benefit from the convenience options.

In my experience and in speaking to lots of pilots, which I do, Night VFR is a tiny proportion of all flights, and Terrain Colouring already provides a useful tool to assist in additional terrain awareness in conditions of limited visibility. If one observes the Night VFR rules, why would one need SynVis? 

Customer retention is a complex issue with many factors. I think Tim knows quite a bit about capturing and retaining customers. If the data told him that people are drifting away to other products due to lack of SynVis I’m sure he’d respond accordingly, but it would seem to not be something  that the market currently sees as important. 

If one always has current paper charts and does proper planning with a ruler and a hand-written plog, why would one need an iPad running an EFB? Convenience, better situational awareness, additional backup. Same goes for extra features. Even apps like RunwayMap, which were actually not meant to be in-flight at all, can now display ADS-B based traffic around you - for instance. 

SynVis running with an external AHRS is a great backup in NVFR in case of vacuum failure, for instance. It can go a long way towards preventing spatial disorientation caused by a dark outside and a tumbling AI. I've had a vac system fail on me in flight. As the gyros' rpms drop gradually, it's initially a very slowly developing error on your AI and HI. At night, you might not notice that your slowly pushing the plane into an undesired attitude. You can catch that much more quickly if you begin to see disagreement between your primary flight instruments and an independent backup.

And that's where I'm thinking of switching apps. Garmin and Foreflight can do this. And if they are going to be my backup in the situation described above, I should be very familiar and confident with them. Might as well make the switch and use one of them as my day-to-day app. I think you'll find that keeping customers is easier than winning them back. Playing catch-up when a trend is already happening is generally a bad idea.

Tim Dawson
Tim Dawson
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TXR, we only expect people to use SkyDemon if SkyDemon is right for them. Clearly if Synthetic Vision is important to you, we cannot therefore make you happy. Only you can decide if a different product would be better for you.
pilot-byom
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Tim Dawson - 6/17/2021 11:43:02 AM
TXR, we only expect people to use SkyDemon if SkyDemon is right for them. Clearly if Synthetic Vision is important to you, we cannot therefore make you happy. Only you can decide if a different product would be better for you.

Absolutely agreed! I cannot image to trust my life to a consumer grade device for such a demanding technology, that imho is pure territory of the high price high development high reliability fraction of aviation.
grahamb
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TXR - 6/17/2021 9:48:56 AM
If one always has current paper charts and does proper planning with a ruler and a hand-written plog, 
That's an extraordinary statement for someone advocating SynVis.

Edited 6/19/2021 3:00:51 PM by grahamb
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