Check this FAQ to know more about battery life and maintenance.
Check this FAQ to know more about the best brightness setting for AIR³.
Check this FAQ to know more about readability.
AIR³ 7.2 and 7.3 have a battery of 10.000 mAh. This gives AIR³ a pretty large autonomy. So, how many hours does it mean?
To give a straight quick answer: 10 hours for AIR³ 7.3. But, read more details below to better understand the ins and outs.
Well, the autonomy can be influenced by many parameters. This means the autonomy is not a fixed number of hours.
A first factor that can influence battery life depends on how the battery has been initialized. As explained in this FAQ regarding battery maintenance, the battery capacity is optimal when performing 3 full charge and discharge cycles for the first time.
Using a black theme increases by 30% the autonomy. Not everybody likes it,… but it uses much less energy. This is why AIR³ is preconfigured with an hybrid Black theme with white maps.
The main factor that influences the autonomy is the brightness level.
Most of the time, when using a smartphone outside, the brightness is set to maximum. Otherwise, information is hardly read. This is the case because the screen brightness is weak on such device. This is not the case for AIR³. The FAQ related to the best brightness setting gives you more details about the link between brightness, readability and autonomy.
If you know you are going to fly for a very long flight, here are actually 4 “tips” you should have in mind:
- AIR³ should be fully charged as this is the case with most smartphones or tablets.
- AIR³ 7.3 has an advanced adaptative brightness sensor that adapt the brightness to the current conditions. This will definitly reduce the average brightness level, compared with a flight with full brightness all the time.
- There are brightness widgets and buttons + and – easily accessible. You can adjust energy consumption by increasing or decreasing brightness according to your needs and the duration of your flight.
- Doing a short clic on the power button is turning off the screen (all other features such as tracking, livetracking, accoustic audio remain active). With the screen off, the autonomy can be calculated in days… So, if you are going for a very long flight and have already used an important part of the battery, whenever you have the chance, you can turn off the screen this way and increase by hours the autonomy. A new short clic on the power button will turn on again the screen.
- If you want to use the maximum brightness all the time, you are going to make a very long flight and you don’t want to be bothered by a potential energy shortage, you should use a Power bank, together with the Pogopin USB cable, once you reach a low remaining battery percentage (using the powerbank always connected to the device is not ideal).
CCL, by using AIR³ the recommended way, you should get 10-12 hours of autonomy. Without taking into account these recommendations, depending on your settings and the way you manage the flight, you will get between 6 and 12 hours of autonomy with AIR³ 7.2, between 8 and 14 hours of autonomy with AIR³ 7.3 with no FANET-FLARM Module activated and between 7 and13 hours of autonomy with AIR³ 7.3 + with FANET-FLARM module activated. But most probably, you will be happy with our default settings and the adaptative brightness. This will give you more energy than enough.
Check our Readability matters page to better understand the influence between the tilt and the readability.
For info regarding battery autonomy while flying, check this FAQ.
For more info regarding brightness settings and consequences on battery autonomy while flying, check this FAQ.
AIR³’s lithium ion batteries are expected to provide 300 to 500 full cycles.
Once you receive your brand new AIR³, it is recommended that you perform 3 full discharge / recharge cycles to set the battery capacity to its maximum.
Lithium batteries today do not have “charge memory” issues like Nicad batteries did in the past. So, this means that you don’t need to fully discharge it before charging it. However, we recommend that you perform a full charge / discharge cycle once every 50 charges to bypass digital memory and recalibrate the power gauge.
Follow also these additional rules:
- If it is not used frequently, it must be charged and discharged once a month
- Do not charge at high temperature or low temperature
- Do not fully charge the battery after it has often reached 0%. Charge at 15% first.
Avoid completely discharging lithium-ion batteries.
If a lithium-ion battery is discharged below 2.5 volts per cell, a safety circuit built into the battery opens and the battery appears to be dead.
The unit will only turn on if the battery is fully charged.
For prolonged storage it is therefore very important not to leave the device discharged. Make sure it is charged to more than 50% of its capacity.
Ideal charge before putting it away, is 80%.
With any AIR³, XC Guide, running in the background, can display your position on OGN through an internet connection. With Air³ 7.3+, the FANET and FLARM module would display your position on OGN.
You can also configure XC Guide and XCTrack to see others (Flarm, Flymaster, Livetrack24, XC Globe,…).
To know how to configure your Air³ to be seen on OGN through internet, read the procedure below or watch the tuto video to learn how to configure your AIR³ to be seen on OGN via XC Guide in the videos tuto page.
In XC guide, tap on the information blue button and scroll the XC guide status windows down to Open Glider Network
Tap on “New ID” and write down the Device ID and Competition ID provided.
Login with your OGN account. Add a new device and fill in the info that you wrote down. Select OGN as device type, select paraglider as aircraft type.
Once done, verify with XC guide that everything is working as expected (third button in the XC guide status window.
Go to Settings/Livetracking/Open Glider Network (OGN) and set your OGN options.
The level of brightness has a direct influence on both readability and energy consumption and therefore autonomy. If the brightness is set to its maximum, the energy consumption will be maximum and the autonomy minimum.
Check this FAQ related to readability.
Check this FAQ related to autonomy.
Most smartphones or tablets have low screen brightness. This means that the pilots set the brightness to its maximum, without really having good readability. So pilots are used to set brightness to maximum, whatever is the readabitility.
With AIR³, you have to see things differently. The maximum screen brightness can be very high, higher than really needed. Who can do the most can do the least … but the opposite is not true.
First of all, remember that the best readability is obtained by having your look perpendicular to the screen. So no need for maximum brightness most of the time.
Using maximum brightness all the time is like driving a powerful car with full throttle and using the handbrake to slow down most of the time.
There are 2 ways to manually increase the brightness when needed with XCTrack Pro: use the on-screen brightness + widget or use one of the available physical buttons.
AIR³ 7.3 has been greatly improved in terms of brightness management, to increase readability and therefore autonomy. Read below more details. At any time while XCTrack Pro is running, press F1 or the brightness + widget to increase the brightness by 10%.
Once the pilot increases the brightness with F1 or the widget, the brightness level is”Overridden” by XCTrack. That overridden brigthness value will be maintained until XCTrack sets backlight to normal intensity. XCTrack Pro has a new brightness widget to indicate the current percentage of the brightness. Once XCTrack overrides the system brightness, (!) is displayed next to the value. If XCTrack can not determine the brightness value, (?) is displayed.
XCTrack Pro shipped with AIR³ has been configured to return to the system brightness level periodically through various events, setting the backlight to normal intensity.
AIR³ 7.3 has an interesting feature: “Adaptive Brightness” which was not available with AIR³ 7.2. By activating this Android feature, the system calculates the ideal brightness based on the lighting conditions. With strong light environment, the system increases the brightness level. In a more shaded environment, the system decreases the brightness level.
So whenever XCTrack Pro sets the backlight to normal intensity, the brightness level will be calculated by the system and will be modified, mostly reduced, compared with a setting with a all time maximum brightness.
In other words, with AIR³ 7.2, we recommend setting the brightness to 60%. Whenever you feel the need to increase readability, tap the brightness + widget. The brightness will be returned to the value you set on takeoff after one of the events has occurred.
With AIR³ 7.3 with adaptive brightness deactivated, you will get the same behavior as just described with AIR³ 7.2, but you can also use the F1 button to increase the brightness instead of the brightness + widget.
With AIR³ 7.3 with activation of adaptive brightness (default setting), the system will calculate the best brightness value. At any time, you can increase the brightness by pressing F1 or the brightness + widget. Once XCTrack sets the backlight to normal intensity, the new value will be determined by the system based on the lighting conditions.
Visit our Partner’s page here and contact one of them… or get a unit directly from our Webshop.
Currently, with Air³, there are 2 ways to have the thermal info out of the kk7 database:
1/ Thermal hotspots
2/ Thermal map
1/ To get the thermal hotspots
- Download the hotspots from https://thermal.kk7.ch/ when you have selected the region you want the hotspots from.
- Choose the wpt format and put that file in the waypoints folder of XCTrack.
- Read how to activate a waypoint file in XCTrack here.
- You will see the thermal hotspots as black dot on the map if you have activated “Display waypoints” in the Map configuration of the XC map or Task map widgets
2/ To have the thermal map directly within XCTrack:
- Choose the thermal map provider you are happy with:
- Add a new page to XCTrack layout. See how to add a new page in Menu/Preferences/Page layout
- Add the Webpage widget and use the URL of one of the map provider using thermal KK7 (see above the list). We would recommend Spotair. Read how to add the webpage widget and how to configure it here.
- Adjust the settings of the map to display only what you need. Reminder: swipe up to enter the webpage widget adjustment mode, save at the end your webpage adjusted.
AIR³ has 2 cameras: front and back. Check AIR³ specifications for more details. So, you can take pictures or videos with Air³.
The back camera includes a high-sensitivity sensor that allows to take good pictures when the light is weak. The drawback of this high-sensitivity sensor is a “saturated” picture if you take the picture in light intense scenes or with a flash, if you are too close from the objects you are taking.
The are some workarounds: use the front camera, use the back camera with HDR mode.
This feature has been improved with AIR³ 7.3.
The answer is YES!
However, you will need to use an eSIM card to convert the AIR³ into an eSIM compatible unit.
The eSIM.me solution has been successfully tested.
With such eSIM card, where ever you go, you can easily get an eSIM profile to obtain an internet and/or a local phone number without the need of an additional physical SIM card.
A lot of AIR³ pilots are Apple minded. Before going AIR³, they are wondering if they will be able to use AIR³ and if AIR³ is compatible with their Apple computer.
AIR³ is based on Android, but you do not need to be familiar with Android to use AIR³. Unlike other flight instruments, AIR³ is based on current smartphone / tablet technologies. But to use it for flights, you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of Android. Once you get it, you turn it on and off you go flying.
There are many features that you can take advantage of, but you don’t need to activate them to use them.
AIR³ is compatible with any Apple computer just like an Android smartphone. That being said, it doesn’t really tell you if it’s compatible with your Apple computer.
Well, maybe it’s important to remind you that these days, compatibility between devices isn’t that important anymore. Why? Because more and more we use apps with Android device than trying to connect devices to each other.
For example, with a traditional flight instrument, if you need to load waypoints, if you want to share a task or route, if you want to upload your track to a competition website, etc., you will need, most of the time, connecting your instrument to your computer and then transferring these files to or from your device.With AIR³, most of these actions can be done directly by being connected to internet.
- To get a waypoint file, just go on the competition website with the browser, get the file on the web and save it in the right folder.
- To share a task, share it by whatsapp, by email, by Messenger or just share it through a QR code.
- To get your track, if you have set to automatically upload your track after landing, you can directly get your track on your Xcontest account either in IGC or KML format. If you have not automatically uploaded, just upload it in your cloud flights so that you can easily get it from any computer.
You can either create a route manually in Menu/Navigation/Competition task, adding one by one the different turnpoints you want to follow, or create a route easily on a webpage (on a map) and then transfer it to AIR³/XCTrack through QR code.
Watch the tuto video related to that topic in the Videos tuto page. The video shows both methods.
XCTrack Pro is delivered preconfigured with different profiles (see AIR³ Manager).
However, you may want to change the interface according to your preferences. You can remove widgets, add widgets, resize widgets, change widget configuration. Read more details in the customize page of the XCTrack Pro Manual and the XCTrack Pro Widgets Manual.
Watch also this short video:
AIR³ is equipped with a performing GPS. However, you may experience some problems to get a good GPS signal in certain cases. Here are a few hints to discover why you would have faced such issue.
- The first thing to check is that you have activated the localisation. Swipe down from top to bottom to get the main icons. Check the the localisation icon is activated
- Second thing to check is your time zone. The system will try to find satellites based on the time zone. Go to settings/system/date and time and check the time zone set.
- The first time the unit tries to know where it is, it can take more time. This is called “Cold start”. Cold start is strongly reduced if you are connected to the network with a SIM card. If you have no SIM, this is not a problem, but note that it can take more time to locate the first time.
- GPS antenna should not be covered. Check that nothing is altering the signal received by the GPS antenna. Here is an example of a metal sticker that reduces the GPS signal received by the antenna.
- If you still face difficulties, open GPS fox. Turn the pages up to the page that shows satellites and the signal strength. Hold the unit at the end of your arm, at 1.5 m high. Wait for a couple of minuts and observe.
By definition, an option is not necessary. However, options are available in case you want to take advantage of specific features. You can find all options here: http://shop.fly-air3.com/shop/category/air3-19.
Check the accessories page to know more about each option.
To know more about Fanet, Flarm and Livetracking, check this FAQ…
AIR³ 7.3+ has an integrated Fanet and Flarm module. To enable it for flying, you can either enable it with XCTrack, or with XC Guide.
WARNING: the module should be activated ONLY with XC Guide or with XCTrack. NOT both. The easy way is to enable it in XCTrack. In this case, make sure that it is not activated in XC Guide if you are using XC Guide in parallel.
You could also activate the module in XC Guide and then have XC Guide transmit the information to XCTrack through TCP, but this requires more complex settings.
So, to activate the module:
Go to Menu/Preferences/Connection & Sensors. In FANET/FLARM section, enable “Use internal FANET module”.
Check the FANET+ logo in the status line.
Once the module is enabled, a new line appears with the validity of the Flarm licence. Check how to freely upgrade the FLARM licence through XC Guide in the XC Guide specific AIR³ features page.
FANET and FLARM ID are sent every second. The pilot name (Menu/Preferences/Pilot/Username is sent every minut. The type of aircraft (Menu/Preferences/Aircraft/FAI class) is sent together with the other data communicated through the module.
Note that a GPS fix is required to work properly. Fanet&Flarm data are sent once the pilot is considered as flying.
If you want to test the module without flying, check this FAQ.
You can disable or enable the Fanet/Flarm module by unselecting or selecting it in Settings/Connected devices/Fanet&Flarm settings/FANET/Flarm module/ and then select the right module (V1 or V2)
At any time, you can check if the FANET & FLARM module is enabled by looking into the info window.
FANET and FLARM ID are sent every seconds. The pilot name (Settings/Connected devices/FANET & FLARM settings/Your name on FANET) is sent every minut. The type of aircraft ( Settings/Connected devices/FANET & FLARM settings/Your aircraft type) is sent together with the other data communicated through the module.
Note that a GPS fix is required to work properly. Flarm data are sent once the pilot is considered as flying.
If you want to test the module without flying, check this FAQ.
We have identified and solved an issue linked to Flarm transmission in the first units of AIR³ 7.3+. Make sure the FLARM/FANET module firmware number is 202205032219 or up. Follow instructions below to check.
If your firmware has a lower number, to solve the problem, you need to
- upgrade the FANET/Flarm module firmware thanks to XC Guide 449 or up
- use the latest version of XC Guide (449 or up) or XCTrack (0.9.8 or up) as flight computer.
Here is the procedure while AIR³ is connected to Internet:
– Download and install the latest version of XC Guide and XCTrack by reaching the Software upgrade instructions page . On AIR³, you can reach this page through AIR³ Manager menu/Check for upgrades. To reach AIR³ manager menu, click on the 3 dots in the upper right corner. When you have reached this web instructions page, click on the “Latest versions” button. Click to download the APK’s and click on the APK’s after download to launch the installation.
– Launch XC Guide 449 or up and open the (i) info window. Wait for the Fanet/Flarm module to initialise (+- 10 seconds) by checking the info window/AIR³ section. If you get a Flarm expiry date, the module has been initialised.
– Click on the Flarm Logo you can find in this Info window/AIR³ section to launch the firmware update process. You should see the build number of the current firmware, different from 202205032219 or up.
– Click on the “Download firmware” button to launch the firmware update process and click on Start update on the next window.
– Once the firmware has been updated and the module has been initialised again, click on the Flarm logo to check the build number currently installed (202205032219 or up).
Use XCTrack 0.9.8 or up, or XC Guide 449 or up as flight computer.
Read more details about XC Guide specific AIR³ features here.
AIR³ is provided with a version of XCTrack Pro with Livetracking features. To use this feature, you need to have an active internet connection (Ideally through a SIM card, but also through Wifi (data sharing through your mobile phone or Bluetooth).
You can of course see other pilots using XCtrack livetracking on the map, but you can also see other pilots using other livetracking technologies, directly on the map. For more info, read this FAQ.
You will be seen on the XContest Live page of course… but you can also be seen on Open Glider Network. For more info, read this FAQ.
So, the very first thing to check is that you have an internet connection. Go to Menu/Preferences/Pïlot and click on “Login to Xcontest”. Your status should be “Logged in to Xcontest”. Alternatively, you can also test to send a message through Whatsapp, open the browser to try to reach www.fly-air3.com.
Note that if you have just installed a new SIM card, you may need to configure an APN (Access Point Name). Go to Android Settings/Network & internet/Mobile network/Access Point Names and click on the plus sign to add the APN. You should get details about how to configure the APN from your mobile network provider.
First, make sure to enable Livetracking in Menu/Preferences.
See more details about Livetracking settings here.
Not successful? Troubleshooting…
In order to identify what may going wrong if you are not successful, check the different info that can be obtained thanks to the Status line widget in the System section of XCTrack Pro widgets manual.
You may face other issues:
1/ No Livetracking menu in Preferences.
2/ I have an active internet connection but Livetracking is not working.
1/ No Livetracking menu in Preferences.
The Livetracking feature is available in the new version XCTrack. This means that if youhave installed an old version of XCTrack, you may have a version without Livetracking.Install a recent version of XCTrack.
2/ I have checked that I have an internet connection working, but I still can’t enableLivetracking.
Most probably, you are not logged into XContest. Check in Menu/Preferences/Pilot your details that should correspond to your Xcontest account. Make sure you are logged into Xcontest before trying to enable livetracking.
XCTrack contains a “Weak lift indication” feature. If you fall down in calm air by 0.9 – 1m/s but, while flying, you are only falling down by 0.2 m/s, this means you are flying in air mass going up… This is indicated by the double beep vario sound. you can disable it by turning off the “Weak lift Indication volume” in Menu/Preferences/Sound/Acoustic Vario.
Read more details about settings in Menu/Preferences/Sound/Acoustic vario
Watch this short video regarding the weak lift vario sound
The Livetracking of XCTrack is a great feature to see, be seen and communicate with others. XCTrack runs on Xcontest LIVE platform.
There are many Livetracking solutions available. XContest Live is probably the most advanced with the largest number of pilots using it.
However, only pilots that are using XCTrack will be displayed on the map unless you use one of the hereunder described methods.
Internet and/or radio module
In order to be seen or see others on the map, you can either use an internet connection, or use an equipment that sends and receives these data through an integrated radio module. This is the case with Flarm and Fanet devices.
FLARM’s main goal is to avoid collisions between aircrafts. FLARM stands for Flight Alarm.
FANET’s main goal is to provide Livetracking features without the need of internet network. FANET stands for Flying Ad-hoc Network.
Livetracking through internet, Flarm, Fanet, ….each solution has its pros and cons. AIR³ 7.3+ has all the Pros of each solution.
To be seen …
First of all, to understand the ins and outs of each solution, we need to differentiate the “see others” from the “to be seen”. In both cases, the time occuring between 2 sets of data informing about the position of each aircraft around should also be taken into account to differentiate the solutions available.
As long as Flarm’s main goal is to avoid collisions , a lot of devices such as AIR³ 7.3+ are able to transmit Flarm data (Flarm Tx).
AIR³ 7.3+ is able to communicate its position to others both through internet and through an integrated radio module (this means even without internet available), both to FLARM and FANET devices.
Through internet, it will be seen by others depending on the configuration: Xcontest Livetracking, OGN, Livetrack24, SportstrackLive,…
The easiest way to be seen by many Livetracking platform is to run XC Guide and configure it accordingly. See more details in the XC Guide specificities for AIR³ page.
If you want to be seen on OGN network, visit the FAQ related to that topic.
See others …
Flarm devices and others (OGN – Flymaster – Livetrack24 – XC Globe – Fanet,…) can be seen on the map of XCTrack Pro during the flight with any AIR³ (not only 7.3+) via XC Guide and an internet connection.
AIR³ 7.3+ is also able to see FANET and Flarm (V2) aircrafts from its integrated radio module.
Note that you will only see other aircrafts if you have activated the “Display nearby pilots” in the map configuration of XC map widget in the Xcontest widgets page or the task map widget in the competition widgets page.
To be able to see others via XC Guide requires an internet connection. This can be obtained either through your SIM card (mostly recommended because it doesn’t require any concern before take off) or by sharing your phone’s internet (hotspot) through WIFI or Bluetooth. Without the need of a Flarm receiving device, this method allows you to get all aircrafts around you on XCTrack map.
Watch a video tuto that shows how to configure XC Guide and XCTrack in the videos tuto page.
Configure XC Guide, XCTrack and AIR³ Manager as described in the XC Guide page.
You can set what you want to display (filters) on the map by changing the settings in XC Guide. Note that XC Guide has to run in the background to let XCtrack get the info to display.
OGN will display the following livetracking pilots:
- Aircrafts using a Flarm
- Flymaster livetracking (to be confirmed)
- All aircrafts using an OGN tracker
- Garmin Inreach
In addition, you can configure XC Guide to also display the following livetracking pilots:
- Flymaster groups
- XC Globe
- SPOT & Garmin inReach
You can also set XC Guide to display Commercial aircrafts around you through Opensky ADS B. Check more details how to configure the Opensky ADS B feature of XC Guide in the XC Guide specificities for AIR³ page.
We pre-install many maps and elevation files to make AIR³ ready to fly.
It’s easy to free up memory. Just go to /XCTrack/Map/RoadMap for AIR³ 7.1 and 7.2 or /Android/data/org.xcontest.xctrack/files/Map/RoadMap for AIR³ 7.3 and delete the maps you do not need. You will quickly get a lot of free space ! Watch the video on maps and elevation files to quickly get acquainted with these topics.
Read more in Menu/Preferences/Map details about RoadMaps and terrain in the XCTrack Pro Manual.
Alternatively, you can also get a 128 Gb SD-card with pre-installed maps of the world .
If you have lost your AIR³ or if it has been stolen, you can maybe find it back depending on what you have done when you received it and if you have inserted a SIM card or not.
As an Android tablet, you can set a Google account. Make sure to enable location history.
By logging in your Google account, you have two easy way to find your device (if the device is connected to internet):
- https://www.google.com/android/find allows you to quickly find where your device is, play a sound or secure your device (Lock device and sign out of your Google Account. You can also display a message or phone number on the lock screen).
- https://www.google.be/maps . Go to the burger menu while connected with your account and click on “Your timeline”. You can see the latest place saved with the device.
As an Android device, there are also many other ways to find your device. You can install an app such as “Wheres My Droid” that can be used for that purpose.
If you have inserted a SIM card, you can also just simply send a text message or call your device. There are many ways to find it back.
With an internet connection, XC Guide is able to get commercial traffic and transfer the data to XCTrack through a TCP link. To know more about this feature and how to configure, click on this link:
The following instructions are valid for XCTrack and XC Guide. AIR³ Manager won’t upgrade automatically through Play store.
As mentioned in the Software upgrade instructions page, you can upgrade apps manually (watch the video), or automatically via Play store. It may happen that the Play store version is not as recent as the version provided on our server. However, some pilots may prefer this process to be done automatically, even if it does not provide the latest version.
For XCTrack, we recommend that you join the beta program of Xcontest to automatically get the latest version of the XCTrack beta channel, so that the version is the closest to the one provided manually.
Joining the beta program of XCTrack
Click on the link here once you have logged into your Xcontest account. Read also below how to join the beta program on Play store.
Configure a Google account on AIR³
Make sure you have set up a Google account on the device. If you haven’t already, click on the Play store icon and sign in.
Once Play store is launched, search for “XCTrack”.
Click on XCTrack to see the details. Scroll down to “Join beta”.
The following instructions are valid both for XCTrack and XC Guide. Replace “XCTrack” by “XC Guide” in the following instructions if you want to apply them for XC Guide.
If XCTrack is not the latest version, click on “update” to update the app. Click the 3 dots in the top right and make sure “Enable auto update” is set.
Repeat the same operations for XC Guide to get automatic update of XC Guide.
Make sure General auto update is set
In Play store, click on your icon in the top right, click on settings.
Click on Network preferences. Make sure that “Auto-update apps” is not set on “Don’t auto-update apps”.
You are all set. When a new version of XCTrack or XC Guide becomes available, once AIR³ is connected to internet, the new version will automatically be downloaded and installed.
Note that this automatic update is not available for AIR³ Manager.
AIR³-XCTrack is preconfigured with ideal settings, according to its specificities. AIR³ Manager communicates with XCTrack to set it ideally.
Maybe you have made some changes to the interface or to other settings but you actually prefer to use back the default settings. You can reset it with AIR³ Manager.
When new features become available in XCTrack, a new version of AIR³ Manager allows pilots to take advantage of the specific way to use these new features throughthe reset available in AIR³ Manager.
Check how to reset XCTrack to its default settings in the AIR³ Manager manual.
If you want to be able to get back your previous settings/layout, don’t forget to first export your configuration.
Adaptive brightness is a very useful feature of AIR³ 7.3. It greatly increases autonomy. When the device is exposed to more light, the screen adapts and becomes brighter. When the device receives less light, the screen automatically decreases the brightness and thus reduces power consumption.
However, you can disable this feature (for example if the upper left part of the device, where the light sensor is located) is shaded but there is a lot of light on the screen.
This can be done temporarily or permanently.
Click F1 or F2 (or any of the on-screen brightness widgets) to force the brightness level (higher or lower). This will temporarily disable adaptive brightness. Each click will increase the brightness by 10%. On different events such as start of thermal, end of thermal, … XCTrack is configured (automatic actions) to revert to system setting, so with adaptive brightness enabled.
To remove this adaptive brightness during the whole flight, Go to Android Settings/Display and deactivate “Adaptive brightness”. Set the default brightness level you want to achieve (e.g. 70%). Start XCTrack. The brightness level will start with the default brightness level you set (example 70%). You can change the brightness level during flight by clicking F1 or F2 (or the on-screen brightness widgets) to force a different brightness level. Each click will increase the brightness by 10%. On different events such as start of thermal, end of thermal, … XCTrack is configured to return to the system setting, so with the default brightness level (for example 70%).
Depending on your eyes, you may want to display cities with bigger font.
This is how to proceed:
- Download the Hyperpilot custom xml file here. If you download it from the browser of AIR³, keep your finger on the file for more than one second and select “Save link” in the contextual menu. Make sure the file ends by .xml
- Copy the xml file in XCTrack/Map folder. With AIR³, use “Files” app to browse the content of the unit. In Downloads folder, select the xml file and use the menu to “Copy to”, browse in the XCTrack subfolders to reach “Map” and click on “Copy”.
- Open XCTrack Menu/Preferences/Maps/Roadmap/Map theme and select “Custom file”
- Select the Hyperpilot custom file you have just copied in the Map subfolder of XCTrack and click on select in the bottom.
- That’s it. Villages, towns and cities are now displayed with a larger font.
A large number of pilots think the only way to have a good readability is to increase the nits (~ brightness) or to use a eInk screen (black and white). The most important factor is the angle of the screen with the look (perpendicular) and not the nits/brightness).
Read more details about best brightness setting in this FAQ.
Read more details about link between brightness, readability and autonomy in this FAQ.
In the “Readability matters” page, you can see a comparison between AIR³ 7.1 and AIR³ 7.2 (1000 nits). Tilting the screen is the most efficient way to increase readability.
If you want to test the Fanet&Flarm signal with another device, here are a couple of information to take into account:
- A GPS fix is needed in both devices
- On AIR³, you should enable Fanet/Flarm Module ONLY in XC Guide OR XCTrack but not both. Restart the device if you have enabled the module with the two apps as it may be blocked.
- Both devices need to be considered as flying to transmit.
- When some devices send both Fanet and Flarm, only Fanet is taken into account by the receiving AIR³
- Make sure to use the latest version of firmware and apps.
If you want to make some tests to understand the ins and outs, while not flying, you should first start with XC Guide. XC Guide provides more information about Flarm and Fanet, so that it is more easy to understand the ins and outs.
To test the module with XC Guide:
- Quit XCTrack and/or make sure the Fanet/Flarm module is not enabled in XCTrack (for more details about how to enable or disable the module within XCTrack, check this FAQ).
- Enable the module in XC Guide (for more details about how to enable or disable the module within XCTrack, check this FAQ). Select the right module (V1 or V2)
- Make sure the Flarm/Fanet module is activated and working in the info window of XC Guide
- Make sure to use the latest firmware of the Flarm/Fanet Module (AIR³ 7.3+ V2 should use build 102 or up). Check here how to update the firmware.
- Activate the “Always in flight mode” in Settings/Connected devices/Fanet&Flarm settings/
- Check that Flarm Rx and Tx is enable in Settings/Connected devices/Fanet&Flarm settings/
- Check that Fanet is set to detect all pilots in Settings/Livetracking/Fanet
- Check in the XC Guide page the other devices detected. In the following screenshot, the following devices have been used for the test: Skytraxx Beacon (Fanet Tx-Rx, Flarm Tx), AIR³ 7.3+ V1 (Fanet Tx-Rx, Flarm Tx), AIR³ 7.3+ V2 ( Fanet Tx-Rx, Flarm Tx-Rx), GXAircom (Set to only receive and transmit Flarm). The screenshot is taken on the AIR³ 7.3+ V2.
Here is an example coming from GXAircom listing the different devices detected (set to only receive Flarm).
Once the tests have been successful with XC Guide, you can disable the module in XC Guide and test with XCTrack. Check this FAQ to know how to disable the module in XC Guide and enable it in XCTrack.
Here are some advices to make sure you are testing it correctly within XCTrack.
- First of all, make sure you have activated the XCTrack livetracking, so that you can easily observe that you are considered as flying when “Live” is green in the status bar.
- In XCTrack, set the landing detection to “No detection” and set the takeoff detection to 1 km/h in Menu/Preferences/Automatic actions.
- Once both units (receiving and transmitting units) are set, move a little bit to activate the takeoff. Use an XCTrack map that displays “nearby pilots”.
Remember that both units have to be considered as flying.
Quick test of 5 devices using Fanet&Flarm technologies:
- Skytraxx Beacon (Fanet Rx/Tx – Flarm Tx)
- Gxaircom set to only send and receive Flarm
- AIR³ 7.3+ V1 (Fanet Rx/Tx – Flarm Tx)
- AIR³ 7.3+ V2 with XC Guide (Fanet Rx/Tx – Flarm Rx/Tx)
- AIR³ 7.3+ V2 with XCTrack (Fanet Rx/Tx – Flarm Rx/Tx)
If you are not satisfied with the volume of the vario, you have most probably made one of these 2 errors: velcro on the speaker or the volume is not set properly.
In the first steps page and instructions of the Quick user manual, we give instructions how to set the Velcro if you are not using a Base.
If you place the velcro as you can see in the following picture, you will definitely get the sound muted by the velcro:
Set the volume to maximum (100%)
You can set the volume of the vario in Menu/Preferences/Sound/Acoustic Vario/Volume. The percentage corresponds to the percentage of the system volume. This means that if you set the volume on 50% and the system volume is 50% of the maximum, you will get 25% of volume. Set the volume of the Acoustic vario to 100% to get the highest level of sound if you are not satisfied with the volume. In order to make sure that the system volume is maximum, please make sure to enable “Turn up the volume on startup” in Menu/Preferences/Sound/Automatic volume/ and set the “Pre-set master volume” on 100% .
Read more details about settings in Menu/Preferences/Sound/Acoustic vario
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 problem with AIR³ 7.1 and AIR³ 7.2.
With AIR³ 7.3, the technology is different. Most of the time the polarization is from top to bottom. With such glasses, if you use AIR³ in portrait mode, there will be no problem. In landscape mode, the screen will be darker.
So if you absolutely want to use polarized glasses, you can either use AIR³ 7.3 in portrait mode or use polarized glasses that are polarized from left to right. Alternatively, you can also use an AIR³ 7.2 instead.
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.
See XCTrack in the list of instruments of the FAI instruments list here.
Watch the Competition video tutorial
You can also find more information about competition in the competition section of the Menu/Navigation page of XCTrack Pro Manual, as well as in the details regarding Competition widgets in the Competition subsection of the XCTrack Pro widgets Manual.
Check the special page for competition in the latest layout designed for AIR³ with the Expert profile.
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 preconfigured with a customized and improved version of XCTrack Pro. It includes a perpetual license of XCTrack Pro. AIR³ is also preconfigured with all the Maps and all the Terrain files of the main countries where it is shipped. You can add easily more maps and more Terrain should you need other regions. Read more in Menu/Preferences/Map details in the XCTrack Pro Manual.
Alternatively, you can also get a 128 Gb SD-card with pre-installed maps of the world.
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.
For more details about Flarm, Fanet and Livetracking, check this FAQ.
The Flarm module integrated in AIR³ 7.3+ is using 868 MHz data communication frequency currently.
The Flarm module integrated in AIR³ 7.3+ V2 uses all frequencies used by Flarm worldwide. The module selects automatically the right frequency.
868.2-868.4 MHz (Europe, Africa)
869.2 MHz (New Zealand)
902-928 MHz (North America)
916.2 MHz (Israel)
917-926.6 MHz (Australia, South America)
Yes. AIR³ is using a performing barometer sensor from Te connectivity to determine the altitude and the altitude changes. It can detect an altitude change of less than 10 cm per second.
Watch and listen to these 2 short videos that compare AIR³ 7.2 vario with Oudie and Flymaster varios. You can hear that AIR³ detects the lift nearly instantly, half a second earlier than the Flymaster and Oudie.
In the video with Flymaster, AIR³ vario is set on Classic mode with straight tone while Flymaster is set with Dynamic frequency.
In the video with Oudie, the video starts with devices individually, so you can recognize the sound.
There is no way this can be garanteed. But AIR³ provides solutions to reach that goal. Look at this video regarding AIRSPACE management and read more details about Airspace in Menu/Preferences/Airspaces
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 the right airspace. Read more details in Menu/Preferences/Airspaces.
Check the video for more details
XCTrack can use airspace zones from http://airspace.xcontest.org automatically.
Choose countries in Menu/Preferences/Airspaces in the Web tab. Tap ‘’Refresh’’ .
Airspace activations are automatically checked upon XCTrack (re)start
Airspaces are computed automatically through a “notam analyser” in many countries.
AIR³ Manager/Openair file:
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 the Airspaces directory of XCTrack 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.
Read more details in the Openair2AIR3 page and in the AIR³ Manager manual.
Here are most of the new or improved features in 7.2, compared with AIR³ 7.1:
- Vario, new pressure sensor: Te connectivity (Vs. Bosch)
- Android 8.1 (Vs. Android 5.1)
- Screen max brightness: 1000 nits (Vs. 400 nits)
- Deca core 2.4 Ghz (Vs. Quad core 1.3 Ghz)
- Ram/Rom: 4 Gb/64 Gb (Vs. 2Gb/16 Gb)
- Battery: 10.000 mAh (Vs. 7.000 mAh)
- Emergency quick button
- Easier to use physical button
The only difference is the Fanet/Flarm module inside the unit.
The consequences are:
- Both modules can transmit and receive Fanet.
- V1 can only transmit Flarm, not receive. V2 can do both transmit and receive Flarm.
- V1 could only use 868 Mhz, which means only EU. However, with the latest firmware upgrade provided in december 2022, the module can now also communicate on other frequencies for Fanet.
V2 can use the different frequencies, both for Fanet and Flarm.
Note that V2 can receive both Fanet and Flarm but, if a Fanet signal is received from a given pilot, the Flarm signal will be ignored as it would become irrelevant.
Read more details about enabling Fanet and Flarm module in this FAQ.
The AIR³ Manager is a small App developped to manage the basic features of AIR³ besides XCTrack. Look at the AIR³ Manager page and the AIR³ Manager manual.
What is the difference between AIR³ and a low cost phone or tablet on which I can install XCTrack?
If you have reached this page, it means you are headed in the right direction. But you are not there yet. XCTrack is the most efficient and ergonomic flight software. Now using XCTrack is one thing, the hardware that XCTrack runs on is also essential to have a good flight instrument.
Are there many pilots who only use their phone or tablet as the ONLY flight instrument? Probably not, here are some reasons (not sorted by importance) that differentiate AIR³ from such a solution.
- Readability is a key characteristic of a flight instrument. AIR³ has a very bright screen with up to 1000 nits. This gives the possibility of reading information even in the worst cases.
- 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 important, as well as the way the system and the software are using the data coming from the sensor.
- AIR³ is a rugged tablet IP67. 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 solving only partially the readability of most devices and increase the energy consumption. 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. Check also our “readability matters” page.
- AIR³ is the only device sold with a perpetual licence of 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 4 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 7.2 is large with 10.000 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 have 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.
What is the difference between AIR³ and a tablet with the same look one can find on internet/Alibaba?
AIR³ is an Android phone & tablet that has been designed to be a flight instrument.
AIR³ is not an “off the shelves” product similar to the products that one can see on internet/Alibaba. We have written specifications based on all the tests we have made and our long experience. AIR³ is produced through a large tablet manufacturer based on these specifications.
We have not developped our own shell for AIR³ 7.2. We used the same “shell” as other tablet manufacturers… so you can find different variants of this version from different manufacturers but the inside is different depending on the market that the manufacturer want to address. This shell was actually very good and strong, so it was a non sense to develop a new one. Sometimes people ask us: what are the exact differences with such tablet one can find on internet… well, it is difficult to answer as long as we produce AIR³ based on our specifications and we do not know the exact specifications of the other tablets.
As we faced “marketing difficulties” by using a shell that was available for other manufacturers (some competitors just copied AIR³), we decided to make our own shell for AIR³ 7.3. This has allowed us to design it without having to conceed anything on the features side. We have added physical buttons, on the front side, have integrated a pogopin USB interface, have placed the speaker on the front side instead of the back.
Most of similar tablets one can find on the shelves have no pressure sensor. AIR³ is equipped with a very powerful and accurate pressure sensor. A flight instrument should contain a good built in barometer.
Some other tablets have a pressure sensor. However, its is not because a tablet has a pressure sensor that it will work properly. We have tested many different barometer sensors. Some of them are definitely not good for our target or provide data that are not usable for our sport. Once you have selected the right barometer sensor, this is still not enough, you also have to tune it the right way and make sure it works great with XCTrack. We have made a lot of tests, so did the XCTrack team with AIR³, in order to make sure that XCTrack worked very well with the specificities of AIR³ modules.
Custom firmware and additional apps
AIR³ is much more than just a tablet + XCTrack Pro. Besides all the customisations that have been done, we have developed a special firmware and a special additional app (AIR³ Manager) to manage other features.
Check also our “recommended additional apps” page to see the different additional apps that have been customized to work great with AIR³.
We have also developed different bases to tilt the screen. Having the screen perpendicular to the look increases the readability. Read more about readability. Watch the video that shows how important it is to tilt the screen to optimize the readability.
XCTrack for AIR³
AIR³ includes a perpetual license of XCTrack Pro.
The XCTrack team has been involved very early in the AIR³ project. The App has been optimized to take advantage of the way the modules are working. XCTrack has been customised to match the AIR³ specificities and is a Pro version. The Flarm/Fanet module of AIR³ 7.3+ is a specific feature developed by XCTrack for AIR³.
Indy, developer of XC Guide, is strongly involved in the AIR³ project. XC Guide takes advantage of the AIR² features. The Flarm/Fanet module of AIR³ 7.3+ is a specific feature developed by XC Guide for AIR³. AIR³ users can decide which flight computer to use: XCTrack, XC Guide or both (XCTrack in front and XC Guide in the background, providing XCTrack with useful info. Check more details about all the features provided by XC Guide to AIR³ here.
Check this other FAQ to know more about all the differences with a mobile phone or a tablet with XCTrack.
Why do I get a message “This app is blocked” when I try to use the download of Openair files with AIR³ Manager?
To use this feature, you need to configure both the AIR³ (Google account) and a Google Drive (Reading/writing rights for this Google account + Openair files with the right naming) as described in this page .
If the configuration is not right, you will get this message.
In the event of a rapid descent with a large change in pressure, you might feel a short moment with the sound of the vario, weaker than usual, while using AIR³ 7.3 or 7.3+. This is due to a significant pressure difference between the inside of the unit and the outside. The pressure will quickly equalize and the sound will return to normal, but sometimes this can take precious seconds. To avoid such a situation, you can open the USB-C cover in advance, so that the inside is not sealed and the pressure equalizes instantly.
AIR³ is provided with a perpetual licence of XCTrack Pro. The licence is linked to the device, not the pilot.
The perpetual licence is generated by a long file name (called Bootstrap file) located in the Bootstrap folder of XCTrack, ending by .xcbs.
That perpetual licence file is based on the IMEI number of the device and is linked to the product name registered in the system. In other words, the licence can only work with the specific AIR³ for which the Bootstrap file has been produced.
Here are a few comments related to the Pro licence mechanism, in case you experience difficulties with XCTrack PRO.
- The device name and product name should be AIR3
- The xcbs file (Bootstrap file) has to be located in the Bootstrap folder of XCTrack (it is case sensitive)
- The xcbs file is directly related to the IMEI number for which it has been produced, make sure to use the right xcbs file
- Check the date and time of the device. Wrong date and/or time may drive to Pro activation failure.
If you have checked all previous items and still fail to get the Pro features within XCTrack, uninstall and reinstall XCTrack, or contact us.