PATHy 3.0 Flight planner preview

PATHy was built from scratch to fit the daily activity of the worlds most (in)famous pilots: the crew of dESPair airline (

The crew of dESPair is not flying from Paris to London in a fat tin can all day. They are providing all sorts of support and emergency services in virtually any spot of this world. And what they need for these kind of tasks is a handy tool to plan VFR flights, SAR patterns, SOAS missions etc.

PATHy is not a toy for the airliner business where you fly from way point to waypoint. PATHy is your guide dog for flights at 100 ft AGL in mountaneous scenery.

What's new in PATHy 3?

PATHy 3.0 will be freeware
I decided to release PATHy 3.0 as freeware, so I can freely include the Airport, Navaid and Fixpoint data sets, complying with the GNU Licence. Doing so, will allow me to parse the XP files, and release PATHy specific databases with that data included. PATHy 3.0 and the XP files will be free for all.

New data storage technology
I have switched to an internal SQL database engine, which makes it much more easy and consistent to manage several hundred thousand of data points. This change of the internal structure allows me to add some nifty features too (read below). You will no longer have to search the proper XP files and parse it each time you open PATHy. Gain: big speed boost at startup time, and no more dealing with the file formats!

Modular functionality
The basic PATHy 3.0 functions will be freeware. But PATHy can be expanded to become a much more usefull planner, by adding data modules and function modules. These modules will cost a small fee, and can be ordered selectively or in one huge package:

  • Worldwide Hi & Low airspace boundaries (130'000+ airspace boundaries)
  • Worldwide Hi & Low air traffic route data (114'000+ Airways)
  • Worldwide ACOM database (23'000+ airport radio service frequencies)
  • Worldwide ORTCA database (19000+ off route terrain clearance altitude cells)
  • Additional airport data (9000+ airports with detailed information)
  • Additional runway data (12000+ runways with detailed information)

Planned, but not yet implemented, for later releases are:

  • Worldwide Terminal Procedure Database - TP approach minima
  • Worldwide Terminal Procedure Database - TP Minimum Safe altitude
  • Worldwide Terminal Procedure Database - TP Climbrate
  • Worldwide Terminal Procedure Database - TP Feeder routes
  • Worldwide Precision Approach Nav Points database
  • Worldwide Preferred Routes database

You simply pick the modules you want, and only pay for these. Or you can use PATHy 3 with X-Plane only data for free.

Direct road map import

PATHy Pro includes the ability to fetch road maps for almost any spot on this planet. This makes VFR navigation MUCH easier, especially if you don't have a map at hand. (Feature availability very uncertain due to legal questions)

[zoom2] [zoom3] 

All new map display
Rewriting PATHy from scratch allowed me to introduce some neat graphic improvements to the map display. The display is even more and quicker customizable and it now grows with your screen estate...

The display options help to keep the map as clean as possible, while displaying all the information you need to plan your flight.

More waypoint classes
Plan your flights using airports, VORs, NDBs, fix points as well as airways (if module is present). You are no longer restricted to planning flights with airports and VOR/NDBs only.

And if the map shows too many nav points to select them quickly, you now have a list view of all shown nav points to select from.

PATHy 3 is not yet publicly available.

Single seat Mac $10
Single seat PC $15
5 licences Mac/PC $50
corporate (unlim.) $500
Virtual Airlines (unlim.)   $50


GTOPO30 worldwide 30 arc sec. elevation data
Thanks to the publicly available data, also used to grid the X-Plane env files, PATHy can now access the elevation data without being fooled all the time by new scenery file formats... Together with the MapBlast road maps, you get all the visual information you need for a proper VFR flight across any
part of the globe.

[gtopo view 2] 

Airport & runway info @ your mouse tip
Look up crucial airport and runway data directly on the Map display. A translucent hoovering window shows airport detail data (including mag var where available from DAFIF), airport radio frequencies, available runways and runway detail data.

Improved airport browser
The new airport browser is vastly improved in terms of ease of use and it provides crucial information in a second or two. Beside the interface redesign, the airport browser also got a face lifting in the runway and taxiway display.

Pilot Logbook
Another low cost module is a simple, yet effective logbook system to easily save and manage planned and performed flights. Planning a flight does automagically store the flight in the internal logbook database. Previously planned flights can be quickly looked up for later re-use. And you get basic statistics for your flight activities. [screenshot not yet available]

All new interface
The feedbacks I received all went into the process of evaluating a better interface for PATHy 3. The functionality has been reassigned and the controls have been rearranged to allow for a more logical, intuitive and easy navigation and planning.

Quick and easy handling of multiple predefined aircraft and pilot identities makes it fun to work for more than one airline...

So, you see, PATHy 3.0 will really be different from all previous PATHy versions. There are many more little improvements waiting for you as a future PATHy 3 user... but since PATHy is currently in early alpha developpment, there is no final information available.

A few things will be gone. Partly because the feedback I got showed that there is little or no use for the feature, partly because the feature caused me so much trouble and many hours of support... some other features have simply been replaced with something better, so you won't be sad about their disappearance.

- X-Plane navigation data parser
I will do the initial parsing for you, and you lucky guy (or gal) will get a properly formatted, 100% PATHy compatible database for free. So, this is good news!

- Splicer application
This tool has been partially integrated into Pathy 3. There will no longer be an option to output X-Plane subset files. I simply don't want to deal with the X-Plane file formats more than absolutely nescessary.

- Drawing flight plans / legs
The process of planning a flight is now more straight forward, and more data points are available, so the drawing of legs has been discarded in favor for other ways of planning.

Time to send me your wish list
PATHy 3.0 is still in alpha stage. So, sending me your ideas and whish list of new and improved features gives you a fair chance to see them implemented in the next release of PATHy flight planner.

Interested in becoming a beta tester for the new PATHy?
Being a beta tester means you have the chance to test the application early, and have some influence on the final product. It requires you to spend at least 2 hours per week for a period of 2 months, and report back found bugs, visual quirks and other impressions. Interested? Get in contact with me.

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