AIR³ is an Android phone & tablet that has been designed to be a flight instrument. There are many variations of tablets that looks similar to AIR³ but with different internal components and without any optimisation of the system for the purpose of becoming a flight computer. Besides the hardware differences, there are also important differences on the software side. The whole firmware is customized, XCTrack is customised to match the AIR³ specificities and is a Pro version. AIR³ Manager is also an app developped specifically for AIR³ to enhance the user experience.
Is there many pilots using only their phone or tablet as the ONLY flight instrument? Probably not, here are a couple of reasons that differentiate AIR³ from such solution.
– A large majority of phones or tablets do not have a pressure sensor. Now, having a pressure sensor does not guarantee a good vario. The quality of the sensor is also imporant, as well as the way the system and the software are using the data coming from the sensor.
– AIR³ is a rugged tablet IP68. This means it is robust, shock proved, water resistant. As long you are very cautious, doing very soft landing and take off, etc, it may not be an advantage but if not, it is one for sure. The counterpart of this is that it is more heavy (strong material, rubber, protection, etc.) than usual instrument.
– AIR³ has a 7″ display, which allows to have very large widgets easily readable, very large Map on screen, etc. This is certainly an advantage, compared with a phone. Most tablets have a 8 or 10″ display. We beleive it is too large and unnecessary. 7″ is the ideal size.
– As explained on the base page, readability is key for a flight instrument. Increasing the brightness is not solving the readability of most devices. A special base has been designed for the AIR³ form factor to put AIR³ right in front of your eyes for increased readability. The pilot will be much more satisfied with the readability of AIR³ compared with a phone or tablet.
– AIR³ is the only device sold with XCTrack Pro. This gives the opportunity to use certain widgets that are not available in the free version of XCTrack. The set of Pro features will increase in the future and will of course be available for AIR³ users that have a Pro version of XCTrack.
– AIR3 Manager is an additional app preinstalled on AIR³ that manages some basic features, including the way to choose XCTrack profile and theme (both applications are communicating with each other so that the user do not need to know all the different settings to change into XCTrack to change profile or theme). AIR³ Manager also offers a way to automatically download the latest openair file validated by the local group of pilots that are concerned by Airspace compliance. See this video that details the way AIR³ is managing AIRPACE.
– AIR³ is sold “Ready to fly”, preconfigured with 3 different profiles and 3 different themes. XCTrack is a very powerfull application but it is sometimes too complex for some users to take advantage of it. With AIR³, no need to learn all the different advanced features of XCTrack to take the best out of it.
– The autonomy of AIR³ is large with 7.000 mAh…It gives the opportunity to keep your phone battery,… and keep having the chance to use your phone once landed.
– AIR³ speaker and microphone gives you the opportunity to call or receive calls, keeping your hands on the breaks. (except to hang on or to execute the preconfigured call widget). Few tablets has the opportunity to use it as a phone. Being able to receive calls and make calls can be very usefull in many situations
– AIR³ is sold through distribution. This mean that you should have the opportunity to test it before buying it if you are not yet convinced. Not sure which local distributor is selling the AIR³? Contact us. If there is no local dealers yet, take advantage of our “satisfied or refunded” commitment.
AIR³ has a battery of 7000 mAh. This gives AIR³ a pretty large autonomy. If you are using AIR³ with full brightness, you will get around 9H of autonomy. Half brightness, AIR³ will run during 15H. Thanks to the support, half brightness is definitly enough keeping a good readability.
Wifi is affecting very little the autonomy. You could use your mobile phone sharing the internet connection to AIR³ for livetracking purposes if you are not willing to get an additional SIM card for your AIR³.
Using a white theme of XCTrack will increase by 20% the power consumption
The AIR³ Manager is a small App developped to manage the basic features of AIR³ besides XCTrack.
Click on the “Openair2Air³” button to manually download the latest version of the Openair file provided on a shared Google Drive folder. Watch this video for details. Click on the “XCTrack” button to manually launch XCTrack.Click on the menu to access the settings or check the list of Openair files located on a shared Google Drive folder.
Set if you want XCTrack to be launched on boot of AIR³. Decide to automatically download the latest Openair file provided on a shared Google Drive on boot of AIR³. Determine if you want to download Openair files with or without danger zones according to the way Openair files are named. Check this video for details.
The new version of XCTrack contains a “Weak lift indication” feature. If your drop rate is 1m/s but you are only going down by 0.2 m/s, this means you are in air mass going up… This is indicated by the double beep vario sound. you can disable it by putting the “Weak lift Indication volume” in the “Preferences/Sound/Acoustic Vario” menu.
No, it is not required. You may have an alternative to tilt the screen. However, note that the readability ot AIR³ in direct sunlight is strongly improved if you point your eyes perpendicularly on the screen. Therefore, we strongly advise using the base or any other way to tilt the screen.
Yes. AIR³ is using a performing barometer sensor to determine the altitude and the altitude changes. It can detect an altitude change of less than 10 cm per second.
Yes, who can do more can do less. With the KISS configuration (Keep Interface So Simple), AIR³ is just providing the most needed features once a pilot start requiring his first vario. Through his evolution, the pilot will benefit from the other powerfull features by just using the “Easy” config file or the “Expert” configuration provided with AIR³.
Yes. AIR³ is preconfigured with a customized and improved version of XCTrack. The european version of AIR³ is also preconfigured with all the Maps and all the Terrain files of the main countries of Europe. You can add easily more maps and more Terrain should you need other regions.
Yes, AIR³ is also a flight computer that computes all the info required to optimize your flight during competition. With a version of XCTrack > 0.6, AIR³ generates an IGC file that corresponds to the FAI standards and therefore belongs to the instrument accepted for FAI category 1 competitions.
After the start, the green light tells you that you can “GO”
Before the start, you can check the speed required to reach the start line and the remaining time before the start
The automatic zoom will let you check at any time your position towards turnpoints, zooming in when you are approaching the turnpoint, zooming out when necessary.
At any time, keep an eye on the remaining distance to the goal, the glide ratio required to the goal and the glide ratio to the next turnpoint.
Once approaching the goal, keep an eye on the altitude over goal to optimize your score.
Yes. AIR³ is an Android tab/phone. Any Android app compatible with the android version of AIR³ will be compatible with AIR³
There is no way this can be garanteed. But AIR³ provides solutions to reach that goal. Look at this video regarding AIRSPACE management
Airspaces information are usually provided to the instrument through an Openair file. The AIRSPACE is continuously evolving through updates of the AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication). This means that Openair files should be regularly updated based on these updates.
In an Openair file, there are prohibited zones 7 days a week, H24, but there are also a certain number of temporary prohibited zones that are announced by Notam (notification to air man). Unfortunatelly, a Notam regarding the same zone can be written differently depending on the person that is producing it. This means that a robot that has the objective to decode notam may not be always 100% correct.
There are different ways to let XCTrack use an Openair file: XCtrack/Airspaces/Web or Custom/Air³ Manager.
Openair files should ideally be produced based on a daily analysis of the Notam in order to humanly determine which airspaces are activated or not.
A group of pilots focusing on a given region should organise themselves to validate Openair files corresponding to their region and publish them on a Google Drive folder. Sharing that folder with the pilots that are interested, AIR³ manager can automatically download the latest Openair file published.
Air³ Manager will copy the airspace files in OpenAir format to ‘’XCTrack/Airspaces’’ directory as “Most_recent_OA.txt” and make a second copy in the directory. By choosing that individual airspace file”Most_recent_OA.txt” once for all, Air³ will automatically use the latest Openair file published on that shared folder without any difficuty.
XCTrack can use airspaces from http://airspace.xcontest.org automatically.
Choose countries in Preferences -> Airspaces -> Web Tap ‘’Refresh’’
Airspace activations are automatically checked upon XCTrack restart
Airspaces are computed automatically through a robot.
There are 2 types of airspaces in XCTrack that are relevant:
Restricted – red. You are supposed to evade the airspace, is shown in red and it appears in the proximity widget.
Warning – orange. This airspace appears only on the map and does not appear in the proximity widget. In custom OpenAir files this corresponds to the class Q airspace.
A large number of pilots think the only way to have a good readability is to increase the nits (~ brightness). Oudie 3+ has been built with increased nits (900 nits). This video is showing that the most important factor is the angle of the screen with the look (perpendicular) and not the nits/brightness).
The base is made of ABS. ABS is a quite strong material. However, in case of accident, it is quite easy to fix it up. ABS reacts with the Acetone. Just put some Acetone with a paintbrush on the broken parts and the two parts will quickly fix to each other once the Acetone will be evaporated
The objective of the base is to have the screen right in front of your eyes. Depending on your fligth position, you may need the screen more tilted (43°) or less tilted (33°). If your position is quite horizontal or if you are quite far away from the cockpit, 43° is probably best for you. If you have a more uprigth position or pretty close to the cockpit, 33° is more recommanded.