What has me surprised is that anyone is surprised that UK pilots are a bunch of cheapskates.
Why are you surprised? Everywhere a pilot looks, there’s yet another fee. It’s not surprising that people’s tolerance for paying yet more fees on top of the fees they are paying for everything else (and the fees often represent abysmal value for money) is exhausted at this stage. I’m not sure UK pilots are unique in that regard – would French pilots pay a fee for this? US pilots? Most wouldn’t.
I’m glad I waited before buying a receiver Sorry for those who did
Garmin seems to take the fight now. We’ll see.
Garmin are funding ground based wx broadcasts?
They have for years offered an Iridium based wx delivery system, like the now-defunct Avidyne MLX770, but it is expensive. Like the Avidyne, it probably costs 2x to 4x more than the Golze product; the only advantage is that the wx comes up on your panel mounted avionics, whereas Golze ADL data cannot be thus displayed (technically you could, with some reverse engineering of avonics protocols, and building a custom converter, illegally of course).
It is very much a nice looking thing to have (better quality/view than Volmet/Atis broadcasts) on top of my SD screen but not sure how much the information is reliable? or useful? I really don’t see the value of in-flight weather for most of my flying: I don’t do more than 2h legs with plan B always being quick left/right legs or full roll back
However, I am happy to donate to Windy or even get a subscription even if they need a decent pay
I have found the reference to Garmin. Also posted above.
Garmin has set up a transmitter in Friedrichshafen, which transmits weather information on the 978 MHz frequency (UAT). However this appears to be / have been a demo for the Aero show. There is no business model to support this in the longer run, unless it is encrypted and they sell keys.
Selling decryption keys would mean having different airborne hardware, yet a Garmin market their standard UAT receiving equipment such as the GDL50/51/52 in Europe, so I seriously doubt they have any intention if charging for the service.
Reportedly, Garmin have said at Aero 2019 that they are looking at a paid service for Europe. I can’t see how they make a case for it otherwise, because anybody can pick up the signal and decode it.
This would likely be another factor for Uavionix pulling a plug on their free broadcasts in the UK.
I had a lengthy discussion with someone from Garmin at the AERO. He said that Garmin estimates that the full coverage of Europe would cost somewhere between 2.5-3 million Euros. (Btw according to AOPA Germany a single station is around 10K Euros and e.g. one would need around 25 to cover Germany). They couldn’t give me an estimate on the price of a single station at the Garmin booth though. When asking about if it is going to be a paid service the answer was “most likely”. For now they are waiting to see what the trial outcome is, i.e. how many people report back and would be willing to pay a fee for it. He continued to make a remark that prices are probably going to be low since they are mainly in the business of selling the hardware and ADS-IN weather is just a service your are getting as a plus ontop.
Even with “free” weather from FISB in the US, there are still many pilots, including myself that are willing to subscribe to XM weather at a cost between 35 to a 100 a month. I pay $55 USD per month, or about two tanks of gas a year.