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New android gps + vario for hang gliding

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:14 am
by theairdroid
The major contribution of android smartphones and tablets to free flight is their low cost, thus albeit their great graphic capabilities offer great improvements over specific flight instruments (3D visualization of thermals, airspace, maps, tracks, waypoints, etc), they are being overshadowed by the high battery drain and low contrast of their screens.

We think it’s not a great disadvantage cause it should be our flight instrument which would warn us of the: reach to a cylinder, enough height to reach a landing, glide or climb rate, deviation from the course to a destination, change in wind direction and speed, etc. instead of constantly checking it. Thus we could be looking at the better 3D map, the landscape in front of us, for signs of lift or at other pilots flying around.

Their great disadvantage to specific flight instruments is the low quality of their pressure sensor, although it can be offset by their high computing capacity. After one year of hard work we had developed an algorithm able to provide the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the performance of a specific flight instrument.

See the project site at

First version ready for download

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:21 pm
by theairdroid
The first version of our app is ready to <a href=" ... ownload</a>. It's free but you need to be <a href="">suscribed</a> to our website to run it. The first time you start the app after installing, upgrading or removing it from the android stack, you will have to enter your subscription email and be connected to internet.

When the app starts, if the GPS is disabled, you will be showed the window where you could enable it. After that, the vario beeps will stop until gps status changes to available, what will be indicated whith the speech "Satellites available", and your speed be greater than 10 km/h which means you are flying. If you don't enable the GPS you won't have info about glide, wind speed and direction. You could not store the flight track and the application will act as a vario only. In this <a href="">post</a> we exposed how it works. In the folder <strong>theairdroid</strong> of your phone the app will save the track of every flight in an an igc file. The heights are measured above sea level. The vario calibrates automatically with GPS data.

If you press the back button of your android phone from the window where you can enable the GPS you will go back to the app main window, although it's not necessary for the app to work properly cause it will continue to function even though you were running other apps like music player or camera.

The main app window is a black screeen. If you have read about the philosophy of the <a href="">project</a> you will understand why the app hasn't any graphic interface at all. To exit the app you have to turn the phone screen on and, from app main window, press the back button. That way you won't close the app, you will only stop it so when you restart it you won't have to enter your email address again. When you stop the app, if you had enabled the GPS before, you will be showed the window to disable it again, to decrease battery consumption while you don't use it.

This app is available in two languages: Spanish and English. The language you select will be the language of speechs that will inform you about the wind speed and direction or altitude above take off. Wind speed and direction will be available five minutes after takeoff approximately and every time it changes more than 3,6 km/h or twenty two degrees. The altitude will be indicated at the top of every thermal that raises or lowers you more than 50 meters from the last notification height.

Although there are a lot of functions and improvements missing, this version can help you familiarise with the displayless philosophy. We encourage you to test it and give your opinion.

Theairdroid app for free flight ready

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:21 am
by theairdroid
We have uploaded to the Google Play platform a fully operational version of our android app for free flight. It's free, does not contains advertising and you don't need internet access to use it. You don’t need an android phone with a built-in barometer neither. Theairdroid is compatible with BlueFlyVario module.

If you don't have any flight insrument at present, the reason for using theairdroid is clear: the cost of a handheld bluetooth speaker is arround 20€. If you don't have an android phone with a built-in barometer you will have to buy a BlueFlyVario module also. Even so it's four times cheaper than a mid-range commercial variometer.

If you already have a flight instument the reason for replacing it by our app are it's versatility an ease of use. The information that commercial variometers show on the screen is too compressed and difficult to read. To read it your have to divert attention from your fliying enviroment an that's why they aren't effective.

Our app provides you with all the information you need when you need it while flying through a handheld speaker so you won't even need a cockpit.

Theairdroid will also guide you when to increase or decrease your speed to adjust it to the optimum flight speed obtained from your glider polar curve. This functionality is only available in high-end commercial flight instruments and it's of great importance to non competition pilots too.

We have changed our subscription policy to avoid storing email adresses of our subscribers. Now you can follow us on facebook or twitter and stay tuned.

Thanks for your interest.
Aitor Castro
theairdroid | To free flight pilots