Most of us who are RC pilots are also tech enthusiasts, because let's face it, the hobby has definitely become a technology enthusiasts dream especially in the realm of electric flight. We have discussed this before, but the hobby has definitely benefited from all the technology that has come about in the past few years. Going along with that, there is also no question that just about everyone these days carries a smart phone. These can be especially handy when it comes to the hobby we know and love. In this post we are going to take a look at the Android world and a few apps that are really cool that can definitely enhance your RC experience. After all, the more information we can have at our disposal the better and more informed pilots we become. For the sake of the post, we are going to classify the apps into three categories - flight logging, tools and calculators, speed calculators, and weather.
There are a couple of apps we want to cover under the "flight logging" section here. Of course we are all better pilots when we can document how many flights we have on our airframes, batteries, gas used, etc. Two really good apps we want to mention are:
- RC Flight Timer
T3chDad's flight logger is a pay app that costs $2.99. So, this one is one that you will have to shell out a few bucks for, but the interface and features are worth the price for this little jewel if you are serious about logging your RC flights,crashes, batteries, fuel, and notes. Features include:
It is customizable:
- Use or take your own pictures to identify all your equipment at a glance
- Change interface colors
What it tracks:
- Flights for each aircraft
- Total Flights
- Flight time for each aircraft
- Total Flight Time
- Cycles for each battery
- Total Cycles for all batteries
- Fuel consumption for each fuel
- Total Fuel consumption
- Medals, wings and trophies awarded for # of flights
Download it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.FlightLog&hl=en
RC Flight Timer
This app falls in the realm of free apps and is definitely worth using especially if you don't want to pay anything for your flight timer. We have used it and it is definitely a slick little free program.
- Flight/battery logging: add flight/battery logs at end of countdown or manually whenever you need to.
- Inventory management: keep track of your aircraft, batteries, and their usage statistics.
- Flight logs: managing logs of flights and battery cycles, ability to filter logs based on aircraft or time.
- Data back up/restore to/from SD card.
Either of the above apps will suit ones well with logging their flight time. It will basically come down to what pilots want. If they are willing to spend a few bucks, then the T3chDad app is pretty cool and will do just about any logging they want. However, if free is the name of the game for your budget, then the RC Flight Timer is an awesome little app.
Download for your phone here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gid.rcflightlogger&hl=en
Tools and Calculators
For now we want to highlight only one app that we have downloaded and tested for Android and that is the RC Tools app from the the google play market. This is a really nifty little app that has tons of calculators that can be used to measure and calculate just about anything you can think of.
Features and calculators included:
- Flight/Run/Charge logs
- Ohms Law Calculator
- Oil mixture calculator
- scale speed calculator
- image gallery
- battery time calculator
- lipo low end voltage levels
- mac calculator
- cg calculator
- airplane trimming guide
- level indicator tool
- lap timer/stopwatch
- location info
- weather forecast
- watts performance table
- glow to electric conversion
- power calculator
- note pad
- check lists
- static thrust estimator
- gear/transmission/final drive ration calculator
- servo tester
- Unit conversion tool
So as you can tell, this little app is just about the equivalent to a "Swiss army" knife for RC pilots.
As RC planes get more and more powerful with very efficient and quick EDF motors and extremely powerful prop planes, calculating speed is becoming one of the more interesting and appealing things that RC pilots want to be able to do. Really, there is only one app that has become known for calculating accurate RC speed passes. The app does this by using doppler calculations which analyze the sound that comes from an RC plane flyby.
Most of us have our favorite plain weather app that we use to tell the temperature, have access to radar, etc. However, the other day I stumbled onto a really cool weather app that focuses on Wind forecasts and station reports that is just really cool. Wind forecasting and information is probably one of the most neglected pieces of information on most other smartphone apps that you can download. For RC pilots, besides whether it is raining or not, wind reports and information can be essential. This information is just the specialty of the app called WindAlert.
So far in using this app, I have been very impressed with the accuracy of the wind information for my area as well as the forecast information. This is a must have download