Last update on April 24, 2005

Table of contents

About FlightTrack in general

Is there a list of future features?

Yes. I have lots of ideas of new features for FlightTrack but little time to develop them. Among those features are (in no particular order):

In what language is FlightTrack written?

FlightTrack is a mix of pure C++ code and Objective-C++. The core of FT use exclusively C++ while the interface is based on the Cocoa framework and therefore Objective-C. In order to communicate with the C++ core, the interface has to be written in Objective-C++.

Will FlightTrack ever run under Linux, Windows...?

Since the beginning, I thought that having FlightTrack running under Linux would be nice. The development on a linux branch has not started yet. It would be great if the GNU C++ compiler worked with Objective-C++, since I could use the GNUStep project and compile FlightTrack under Linux with only little code change.

In the mean time, you can check KFlog and GPLIGC. These two program have something in common with FlightTrack.

Regarding Windows, I'm not a fan of this system and there are already plenty of alternatives.

About the 3D view

How do I change the 3D view?

The 3D view is controlled through your mouse and the buttons in the top right of the main window.
If you have a 3-button mouse with a wheel, you can access all these functions without worrying about the buttons:

Why does the terrain looks good under a small track and bad under a large track?

The current way the terrain is rendered is with a constant number of  points (vertex). Therefore, if the area covered is large, the resolution of the terrain will be quite low. The amount of points used can be adjusted in the preferences. Setting a value too important (more than a few hundreds depending on your system) will make FlightTrack very slow.

About logger devices

How do I download tracks from my Garmin GPS?

The Garmin GPS should be set to GARMIN host mode. The speed selected in FT panel should match the speed indicated on the GPS. For Garmin GPS, this is usually 9600 bps (this partly explains why it is so slow).
One all this settings are correct, you just have to click the Download button. Once the download is over, clicking the OK button will add all the tracks to the view.

How do I download tracks from my MLR SP 24XC GPS?

The Serial port of the GPS should be active and the protocol set to NMEA. There are several NMEA modes, I used the one that says NMEA183 2.0. Other probably work too. The speed only has to be set in the FT interface. Supported speeds are 19200 and 38400 bps.

How do I download tracks from my Brauniger IQ Compeo / Flytec 5030?

In order to download from Brauniger IQ Compeo (also know as Flytec 5030), the speed should be set to 57600 baud and the device set to the page of the flight to download (menu mode).

How do I download tracks from my Palm?

FT works with a special software called GPS Logger. You can have more information about and download it on this page: . Unfortunately, the current version (0.61) has a bug. The flights are never really erased from the Palm. Even if you erase the flights with the program, they will remain in the Palm memory and you won't be able to download your latest flights. At least that's what it does on my Palm III. The workaround I use is reinstalling it each day I plan to use it. Besides this, it is very useful because it allow you to log position + altitude with a 4 seconds period with any GPS able to output data in NMEA format (probably all of them do). Given the memory of Palm devices, you can log hours of flight.

To download the tracks into FT, you have to select the Send Data... menu in the Palm application, Set the output format to Standard, set the baud rate to whatever you want but make sure it is the same on the mac. Leave hardware handshake on. Then press the Download button in FT and within 10 seconds, press the Send button for trackpoints on the Palm.

About Digital Elevation Model files (DEM)

I have downloaded the DEM file but the terrain doesn't show up under my track

If the DEM file is recognised, it will appear in the list when you select "Show DEMs…" in the Options menu. One important thing to know is that the terrain will not show up if the DEM file does not cover at least 10% more than the area covered by the track.

If the terrain does not show up, make sure that you have properly followed the instructions on the DEM page. You might have to directly download the header file (usually performed by pressing Control and clicking on the hyperlink) so as to avoid line endings from being converted by your browser. This would lead to an unusable file. You can also make sure that unix file endings are used by using a tool such as BBEdit Lite (free).


How do I use a map that was not downloaded using FlightTrack ?

For details on how to use map, please go the the Maps page.

I selected a map that matches the displayed area but it does not appear ?

There are a few lingering bug that appear randomly with maps. What happens is that the map does not appear above the terrain even though it is properly calibrated. This can also happen when switching to full screen. in order to avoid this bug, resize your FlightTrack window to the minimum size, select the 'More compatible scaling' option in the Maps Info window and select the map again.


What are the supported formats for the track file?

Both the IGC format and the GPX formats are supported in reading and writing by FlightTrack.

The IGC format is used by a quantity of flight analysis programs.  It is based on a simple plain text format so you can also edit them by hand in you favorite text editor. You have the full description of the format in the appendix 1 of the 'TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION FOR  IGC-APPROVED GNSS FLIGHT RECORDERS'  on the FAI website:
FlightTrack tries to be compliant with this specification.

The GPX format is an extensible format for GPS linked applications. This is the recommended format when using FlightTrack. Yoou can find more details about GPX on the following website: The GPX format v1.0 and 1.1 are supported. Files are saved in the 1.1 version.