• Review: iFMS

    Reliability

    I'm sure that many of us, at one time or another, have installed software only to be disappointed later on down the road. Sometimes this software doesn't function as advertised, crashes, or simply fails to work. It's an annoying and often frustrating part of the technological world we live in. However, in saying that, I've yet to experience any of the aforementioned issues with iFMS. Having flown numerous flights around the UK (complete with SIDS and STARS), iFMS worked flawlessly; not a single issue was observed, which is more than can be said for my flying skills!

    Ease Of Use

    One of the virtues of iFMS is the fact that it's incredibly easy to use. To program your route and input aircraft details, only the FMS is needed. Like most things however, familiarity with a topic works in your favor, so those with knowledge of using an FMS will find it far easier than those who have none. My knowledge was basic to say the least and so I followed the example tutorial on the author's web site.

    Over the next couple of days I gradually got to grips with everything associated with route planing and really started to enjoy myself. When learning something new it's often the case that frustration can raise its ugly head and shout...'give up!' If you find you're reaching this point then that's the time to put it away and take a break. For myself, I learn better with little and often, and so that is what I did. Once I learned to do this, everything came together.

    The clever integration of SIDS and STARS means you can plan your basic route first and then add your SID, STAR or both later. I'm told that in the real world, ATC would issue you a STAR for arrival towards the end of your route, so the addition of SIDS and STARS in this way reflects how it's done in reality.

    If you're unfamiliar with SIDS and STARS, then this link will explain it all in great detail.

    The addition of having a remote autopilot located at the bottom of the FMC was a well thought out and highly welcomed feature. If you can operate the basic autopilot in any of the main simulators mentioned earlier then you'll feel right at home with the one included here.

    With the initial learning curve nicely behind me, satisfaction came with watching my Piper Archer follow a route on the HSI instrument. I must confess to answering a few emails and making a cup of coffee whilst this was being done though!

    Cost

    Prior to purchasing iFMS, a broken flight yoke and multi panel had sent me on a quest to find a replacement. I had considered purchasing a hardware autopilot, which depending on make and model can range from £100 ($145 US) ($195 AU) right up to £500 ($720 US) ($980 AU).

    iFMS costs £12 ($15 US) ($23 AU) which in my mind is an absolute bargain, especially when you consider that its functionality matches that of some of the highest priced hardware options. If it wasn't for the software option I fear I might now be bankrupt!

    After Sales

    Another area in which I feel iFMS excels in is its approach to customer care. Michael Defeyter, the man behind the app, is both knowledgeable and friendly and took no time at all in responding to my emails.

    In the past, with other software, I have often had to wait days for a developer to respond to a query. Some I'm still waiting on! This is not the case with iFMS.

    Conclusion

    People who know me know that I'm a person who likes good value for their money (who doesn't?) and if there's something not quite right with something, I'm more than happy to mention it. With iFMS though, I can't find a thing to fault it, it really is that good!

    I am also reliably informed that in a month or so, an update will be released in which the user will have a choice of FMC style. Not only this, but there will be an extra facility in which you'll be able to tune NAV/COM radios.

    A tutorial on using the system is available on the iFMC web site.

    iFMS

    Paul Mort

    Web site: www.ifms-fs.com

    Tags: app, ifms

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