TL;DR: I have been working on Aufwind in some shape or form since 2015 and it has finally evolved into a soaring app I love to use to help me plan my cross country days. And it is available on the App Store!
I started first flying gliders back in late 2013 at FCC Berlin and soloed for the first time in 2014 in an ASK-21.
Being an app developer since 2008 when the App Store first launched, it did not take me much to start thinking about how I could create an app for glider pilots.
Looking back in the commit history of Aufwind, I get nostalgic seeing how it evolved in functionality as my experience and understanding as a glider pilot grew. (It went through a few working titles as well…)
Since then a lot of life came in the way (a baby and a stressful tech-executive job among other things) so that there have been times when Aufwind was very neglected.
I started flying cross-country last summer and it became painfully clear: a good preparation is key for a safe and successful cross country flight. Doubly so, if you’re just starting out and already feel a little intimidated by the idea of venturing outside the neighborhood of your home airfield, relying only on the energy in the air to take you there and (hopefully) back again.
I remember times where me and my fellow fresh cross-country mates poured over paper VFR charts and several different smartphones on the table, each open to a different weather and airspace information site, and trying to overlay it all in our heads, trying to come up with a task for the day that is both realistic and challenging while steering clear of various restricted airspaces and then entering turnpoints manually into XCSoar or on-board flight computers.
Surely there must be a better way?
After talking to more experienced cross-country pilots and FIs, I could not find any. Being recently free of my most recent (and hopefully last job), I decided to return back to working on Aufwind and make it into a great flight preparation app for glider pilots.
Since the end of last season I have been working almost full time on Aufwind and I am very happy that it has reached a stage where I can happily put it on the App Store.
It was a long and rewarding process working on something I am really passionate about and it could not have reached this point without the help and support of Matthew Scutter from SkySight and many beta testers who patiently tested the app over the last few months and submitted their feedback, ideas and bug reports. Thank you all!
Go ahead and download it on the App Store and tell me what you like and what you don’t!