Globalair.com has introduced a new mobile version of its website for pilots. The site is free, but resembles many downloadable applications in both appearance and utility. The site contains a wealth of information for pilots and can be a valuable resource. Additionally, the site can be easily used by nonpilots since it does not require a pilot license or any login information.
The mobile site, which was introduced to the public at Oshkosh, contains three sections, which are selectable from the home page. Users can choose from “Aircraft for Sale,” which lists aircraft classified ads. The “Airport Resource Center” provides pilots with access to airport, airspace and weather information. The “Aviation Directory” contains listings for a variety of aviation businesses.
Clicking the “Aircraft for Sale” button takes the user to a listing of broad categories of aircraft such as “jets” or “single engine pistons.” Selecting the desired category will open a menu of manufacturers, which can then be opened into that company’s various aircraft types. Many of the listings include pictures as well as buttons to send an email to the seller or to call the seller’s phone number with a single touch.
Realistically, most people probably will never buy an airplane, but it can be fun to browse the listings and dream. For example, what red-blooded pilot wouldn’t be tempted by the listing for a 1945 North American P-51 Mustang (dual controls, based in Texas, with only 135 hours since major overhaul on its Rolls Royce Merlin engine)? If you have $2.1 million, it can be yours. (Have you bought your lottery ticket yet?) The stunning photos of this beautiful warbird alone are worth scanning the listings.
Another interesting find is a 1967 Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed. This former Soviet jet fighter, which now lives in California, can be acquired for the bargain price of $79,500. This is cheaper than many single-engine propeller planes.
Speaking of single-engine piston airplanes, pilots looking for a trainer or a family airplane won’t be disappointed. There are myriad listings for more traditional airplanes such as Cessna, Piper, Cirrus, Beechcraft, and the like. Many of these smaller airplanes will fit even limited budgets, such as the 1970 Cessna 150 that lists for $20,500.
The “Aviation Resource Directory” section contains listing for many aviation related businesses and organizations. The listings contain links to websites as well as phone numbers. There are numerous categories (and subcategories) so that users can find whatever service they are looking for. Business owners and organizations can also submit their own company information for a free listing.
Probably the most useful aspect of Globalair.com’s new mobile site for the pilot on the go is the “Airport Resource” section. This section allows the user to search for a variety of aviation facilities by state or by name. Unlike many websites or apps, Globalair.com allows the user to refine their search to seaplane bases, heliports, balloon ports or STOLports.
When a facility is selected, the information about the airport is available to the user. This includes common items such as an airport diagram if available, runway information, weather, terminal procedures and an airport business directory. Globalair.com also goes a step further by including a phone numbers and directions for nearby hotels and restaurants for those pilots seeking the proverbial “$100 hamburger.” The listings even include nearby golf courses.
Users can also use the Globalair.com mobile site to look up airspace fixes. In the age of GPS when going direct to a fix is often the primary means of navigation, Globalair.com is an easy way to find important details about fixes such as latitude and longitude, the chart where it can be found, the controlling air route traffic control center, and nearby airports.
Globalair.com also provides weather information to the pilot’s smartphone or tablet. In addition to METARs and TAFs, Globalair.com includes aviation weather charts that are often not found on other weather sources. There are the expected radar and satellite weather maps, but also turbulence and icing potential charts, convection outlooks, winds and temperatures aloft, and significant weather prognostication charts. The lack of ability to zoom may affect the utility of some charts for users with devices that have small screens, but in general pilots and weather fans will appreciate the availability of so much information in one place at no cost. A local radar map is available on the airport resource page.
One of the most unique and useful aspects of Globalair.com’s site is the ability to compare fuel prices. In addition to listing fuel prices in the airport information section, the site has the ability to map fuel prices over a geographic area. The feature can be used for either jet fuel or 100 low-lead avgas. Think Gas Buddy for airplanes.
For example, suppose a flight crew will be flying the boss to a meeting in Denver. The meeting is downtown so the boss doesn’t have a preference on which airport to use. If the captain searches for Denver area fuel prices on Globalair.com, he would see a map of the Denver area with airports labeled. The pilot could then touch each airport to go to the airport resource page for the most recent fuel prices and other information.
Scrolling to the bottom of the map yields a list of the 10 lowest fuel prices for airports within a 50 nautical mile radius. In the case of our hypothetical flight to Denver, the cheapest jet fuel can be found at Denver’s Centennial airport (KAPA) at $4.31 per gallon. A minor drawback is that the fuel prices on the “10 cheapest list” are by airport only. The user must click the airport name on the list or icon on the map to find out which FBO has the best price. On the airport resource page, the pilot finds that Tac Air is currently the home of Denver’s cheapest jet fuel.
Because the Globalair.com is a mobile site rather than an application, it functions well for either Apple or Android products. Much of the information available on Globalair.com would cost several dollars for an app and perhaps more for a subscription. The Globalair.com site is totally free and users are not even required to log in. Users seeking the full functionality of Globalair.com can also choose to view the full site on their mobile devices.
Pilots and nonpilots alike will enjoy Globalair.com’s new mobile internet site. Whether perusing the catalog of aircraft for sale, planning a flight or checking the weather, Globalair.com provides a wealth of useful information for users.
Originally published on National Aviation Examiner