My app Windsock 2.0 has hit the App Store. It’s an advanced weather app for flyers of RC planes, helicopters and drones, optimised for iOS 7 with a slick new minimal design. Windsock solves that problem of having a few flying sites you like to fly at and not knowing what the weather will be just before dusk (often the best time to fly). Its main focus is on wind direction and wind speed, sunrise and sunset times – critical information for RC flyers! This app is also particularly useful in these cold wet months as it makes finding a good ‘flying window’ of weather much easier.
How accurate is it?
It’s powered by Forecast.io. An advanced weather service that delivers hourly weather forecasts. Forecast.io works by aggregating together statistically multiple sources such as local RADAR, MET office stations and data fetched from satellites for NOAA, the US NAVY, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Canadian Meteorological Center. Aviation buffs will be pleased to know it also sources data from worldwide METAR observations (the same ones 747 jet airline pilots check in some form at airports). These sources then get fed into an advanced mathematical model to produce the most accurate forecast possible for a given location. When you check the weather using Windsock there is a good chance it is using 6 different sources to give you very accurate results!
As advanced as this weather app is, it is it does have it’s limits. Trees, houses, ploughed fields and other weather affecting geological features are hard to account for but perhaps in a future version I’ll create a crowd-sourced database and let flyers add trees so the calculations can reflect that too.
What’s new in this advanced weather app?
The 2.0 update adds a whole backpack of new features like wind graphs, checkmark ticks on good flying condition, temperature warnings, rain warnings, map view, local sites, air printing graphs and air dropping of sites. Something I’ve been using a lot lately, particularly as it gets dark early are the sunrise and sunset times. It also has a feature where if you’ve got your hands full just shake the phone and it will read out how much daylight you’ve got left at that particular location you’re in, a feature that the beta testers said they loved to show off and dubbed “Siri Shake” although I couldn’t call it that for legal reasons!
Now, if Windsock is a feature-packed weather app tool you can imagine using on your iPhone, download it now from the App Store. Just a heads up you might want to tweet windsock-app.com out to your RC friends as it’s being featured in some RC flying magazines and you can say you read about it here first!