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Plan-G v3.0.0 (build 46) public release

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The long anticipated release of Plan-G V3 has arrived.

Tim Arnot, the mastermind behind behind TA Software and Plan-G, has announced in their forums that the product has been released. See here

This is a complete major re-write of the core code.

G3 uses maps based on Open StreetMap (OSM) data. This has the advantage of being free and will always be free. The old mapping software sourced from Google is now subject to possible levy's which cannot be borne by TA Software.

The preferred servers for PG3 are from MapQuest, which is a commercial company that sponsors a free access server and doesn't complain about bandwidth. The second issue with OSM data is that the styling of the map tiles isn't optimal for our purposes. For example the only public OSM server that includes terrain shading is Open Cycle Map, which (obviously) has cycle routes writ large upon it.

Tile data for the maps is now cached locally (something else they couldn't do with Google). The cached tiles will be used if available, in preference to going online.

The Quick Plan Dialog in v3 has been enhanced. You can now specify a route. This is in the format of a space separated list of waypoints, e.g. BIG BENBO WCT. You can optionally use "DCT" to signify "Direct"; this will be ignored by Plan-G (ie BIG DCT BENBO is treated the same as BIG BENBO). Specifying DCT on its own is the same as Origin DCT Destination. The route is validated before you can press OK. Waypoints are prioritised in the order Airport, VOR, NDB, ISEC, User. Additionally a lookup is performed on the origin and destination ICAO codes, and the airport names displayed in dialog.

Snippets are a new feature in v3. A snippet is a portion of a flight plan that can be inserted into another flight plan. There are two forms of snippet: Quick Snippets and Snippet files. Snippets are accessed from the context menu of the flight plan list view. Quick Snippets present a route dialog that allows you to type a list of waypoints in exactly the same for as for a Quick Plan.

Right-click on a VOR or NDB, and a new Radial menu will appear. Selecting this will allow you to draw a radial at a specified bearing and distance from that navaid. You can repeat this multiple times from the same or other navaids, allowing you to plot intersection points and so on. A single 'Clear' menu will remove all radial lines from the map. Radials are in degrees magnetic. A checkbox allows you to select the radial as 'inbound' (ie a bearing TO the station).

G3 now opens local KML files (no longer need to be stored on the web). There are options to load just markers, just polygons or both.

Performance factors are now calculated from the active aircraft profile for the flight plan (piston only, right now). The data is displayed at the bottom of the plan window (you may need to move the brown separator bar to see it all). It is also logged.

The Database Tools dialog is to allow (e.g.) X-Plane users that have also got a built FSX or FS9 database installed to copy data that is missing from X-Plane from one of the other databases. The process is a simple CSV export & import.

Radio Stack You get 2x Nav/Com units, ADF, Transponder and 'standard' GA Autopilot. The values are updated as per the existing telemetry (PFD etc). All buttons are live and function as you would expect. You can set the Nav/Com/ADF frequencies directly from the map (i.e. right-click a VOR and select Nav1 or Nav2 from the menu). VOR and NDB can be set from the flight plan list (not airport at the moment).

So there's plenty of new features to get acquainted with, the download is available here.

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Just made my first flight plan using the new version. I haven't figured out all the new features yet but I love the new radial feature. It took me a bit to figure out how to save a PLN file because it saves a bit different but a check in the manual sent me to the new export option. I do miss the Google map because the texture map and street maps worked together although I understand the problem with their servers. Have to work with what we got and Tim did a great job with it. Like with anything new, it takes a bit of getting used too. I appreciate all the work it must have taken to set up the new program, a big thanks to Tim and all others involved in the project.

:rockon: and :thanks::clapping:

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