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Jeppesen discontinuing their VFR GPS paper charts

It's official now.

Honestly, After their interim message a few months ago, I was fully expecting this. They are citing the success of their own digital products as the reason for abandoning the paper market, but in reality, the digital market is much more fragmented (ANP, SD, etc.)

A great pity IMHO. As much as I like digital products for certain reasons, I still prefer a good paper chart when flying VFR. The Jepps were really helpful in countries whose ICAO charts are unusable, like Italy, Poland, UK (OK, just joking;-)

Sure somebody is going to jump in on the paper market, but the question is: how reliable will the aeronautical information be?

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Sure somebody is going to jump in on the paper market

DFS seems to be a prime candidate, given their experience in making charts for a number of countries. If so, it will probably be neither better nor worse than Jeppesen.

LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

Interestingly, DFS just bought Eisenschmidt. Eisenschmidt, located at Egelsbach airport, is the longest standing pilot supplies shop in Germany. It originally started out in 1887 (!) as a company dealing in maps.

They are now integrating portfolios, logistics and web shops.

Stated reason for this deal is that DFS wants to handle the distribution of its aeronautical products and publications internally again after this had been handled by an external logistics firm for some years now.

If rumour in the market is to be trusted, the (female) owner of that previous logistics firm is said to be married to a former member of the executive staff of DFS who left DFS not that long ago.

See attached press statement.

(http://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/en/Press/Press%20releases/2013/12.09.2013.-%20DFS%20acquires%20German%20aviation%20supplier%20Eisenschmidt/)

RXH
EDML - Landshut, Munich / Bavaria

Probably a good time to obtain the very last 2013 Raster Charts CD

As I've said before, almost nobody based in UK, France or Germany was flying with Jepp charts (paper or electronic). Only visitors to those countries might have been, but the amount of "international" touring in GA is much less than a few % of wholly-domestic activity.

And people who fly internationally were probably the first to go for modern alternatives i.e. one of the Ipad products.

Same comment for the old Bottland VFR touring guides. I flew with ~30kg of those on my earliest long trips, and always wondered about how the economics stack up.

Anyway, this looks like Jepp will not have any VFR chart product which can be displayed on a desktop (windoze, Flitestar). Reportedly, FS is due for the chop too, but they haven't done it yet. And Jeppview cannot load the Raster Charts. Is this is true it is really crap because printing from an Ipad is a appalling mess.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

In principle I think Jeppesen's strategy is sensible. Paper maps are outdated and their time is over. The market has gotten a lot smaller, not just because of the decline of GA but due to SkyDemon, etc.

In the last few years, we have seen more and more changes to airspace within a year, greatly reducing the value of fixed date once a year paper maps.

With electronic airspace data (EAD), it doesn't make sense to have a cartographer lay out a static map, it's much smarter to have a piece of software dynamically create a presentation based on up to date official data.

What I don't like about their strategy is the steep price of their Mobile FlightDeck VFR and the fact that it's iOS only. They should at least have an Android version.

With electronic airspace data (EAD), it doesn't make sense to have a cartographer lay out a static map, it's much smarter to have a piece of software dynamically create a presentation based on up to date official data.

Yes, but that is really an argument for selling electronic charts rather than paper charts.

AND selling an app which allows one to either

  • fly with them as a GPS moving map (for which Jepp bizzarely had no option with the Raster Charts, other than the 2005-discontinued version of FliteStar called FliteMap, which I still have, and which runs on windoze only, which is rather limiting for tablets), or

  • print off strip charts at home

Jepp obviously use a multilayer vector database to produce their Raster Charts (even if it is AutoCAD ) but they have mismanaged the whole thing. Their electronic product (Raster Charts) just got wasted.

I suspect Jepp don't want to do Android because of the trivial ease of jailbreaking it. The Ipad can be jailbroken too but very few aviation users fly with JBd Ipads.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Raster charts really don't make sense today, they are a primitive form that was employed back when the data and processing power for live presentation of map data was not available. Early dynamic presentations like Garmin were lacking detail due to the capacity constraints.

Jeppesen's Mobile FlightDeck VFR does it extremely well and so does SkyDemon (minus the known issues like bad UK class A representation and faults). Jeppesen's answer to the printing concern is that the license allows you to use it on two devices. I think that would be an acceptable position if they supported Android.

I must say (although i was part of the team that developed a competing product for two years): I really don't need anything else than SkyDemon for VFR at the moment. The concept of downloading GBs of maps, all of different design and philosophy, is dead: Vectorized maps are the only way to go. I am sure the classic moving map apps which use "scanned" paper maps will disappear.

What exactly are the printing options from an Ipad?

NOT using an airprint compatible printer, that is...

Can one generate strip charts to a PDF, from FD VFR?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The reason for the iPad's success is that it's GUI us simply better, that iOS is generally more stable than Android and that there's simply many more well programmed (and good looking) apps for iOS. Android has a long way to go before it can catch up with iOS in these fields.

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