Orbx's answer to SimToolkitPro and projectFLY has been announced, in the form of 'personal flight tracking' program Volanta for X-Plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D and FSX.
Marketed as "giving you one more reason to fly", Volanta's announcement unique selling point appears to be its 'easy-to-use' interface, a fact mentioned some three times in the Orbx Forum post.
The developer maintains that the program will be free to use, despite the existence of a select few premium features that will require payment.
Looking more in-depth at the program, Orbx have made it clear that, being a flight tracker, the main focus of the app is the map. They say that nearly all pages have a 'beautiful, full screen map.'
The map can also be toggled into three dimensional mode, which displays altitude information in a much more accessible way.
"We have invested a lot of time into finding the best solution for displaying thousands of concurrent flights on our map, while still maintaining a fluid and smooth user experience. Using GPU rendering technology, we can show every airport, every waypoint, every airway, and every flight all at once, smoothly."
"At higher zoom levels, more details are progressively added to the data we show, and the underlying map itself. This keeps the map less cluttered and easier to digest."
The application will also display online network traffic (it will hide duplicate traffic) as well as utilise unqiue icons for up to 40 aircraft types.
Navigraph integration is also a primary feature of Volanta, with data from the latest AIRAC cycle when used in partnership with the corresponding subscription, or else slightly older data.
A feature called 'intelligent tracking' is another of the software's pushed in the announcement, with the developer saying the app should be able to infer both the origin and destination of your flight as well as your aircraft type to make flight planning easier.
"Your flight data gets sent to our servers every 10 seconds. This results in beautiful 3D flight paths on our map. However, we’ve implemented some smarts in this area too. As part of our Intelligent Tracking system, we have made Variable Rate Position Reports."
"When you are cruising we will reduce the rate of position reports if your aircraft remains almost exactly straight and level. The instant you start a turn, or change altitude, the position reports will go back to the highest frequency. This feature saves resources on your PC, and our servers - allowing us to keep Volanta fast and free for everyone without compromising on the quality of the data."
Flight plan imports will be available from simBrief as well as VATSIM, PilotEdge and IVAO, with 'paste route' options available for users of tools like PFPX.
In terms of compatibility, Volanta is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux, plus users can log in on their mobile device to manage settings and the like.
If you're looking to make the switch from another tracker, Voltanta is able to receive data from projectFLY and SimToolkitPro - or if you're planning on making the switch away in future, data downloading is also similarly painless according to the developer.
The creators have also provided a roadmap for the software, which goes as follows:
Currently an invite-only beta is available for Volanta, with applications open now - Orbx have instructed those interested to apply via this Google Form.
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