Important news regarding distribution and repairs
Joining Flytec and Naviter gives us many opportunities to improve and simplify things. We do this always with the intention to support pilots and dealers even better. This results in two important changes in the near future:
Closing Flytec Germany
Since distribution of Flytec varios within the EU is now done by Naviter, we're giving up our location "Flytec Germany" in Weilheim by the end of this year. You can reach us there until December 22, 2016.
New repair service for EU
January 1st, 2017, Hans Kothe starts his “Vario-Service”, where he offers
repairs for Varios by Bräuniger, Flytec and Naviter within the EU. Hans has
over 20 years of experience as a service technician for Bräuniger and Flytec,
and knows these varios as well as no other. In the future, you reach him at:
Elektronik-Service Hans Kothe
82362 Weilheim i. OB
+49 881 62625
www.vario-service.de (under construction)
Defective varios that you send to Flytec Germany now will of course be repaired as quickly as possible. If that should take until next year, you'll simply get them back from Hans' Vario-Service.
Flytec Switzerland: Christmas vacation
In Switzerland, the repair service is closed from December 26, 2016, until January 6, 2017. From Januay 9, we'll gladly take care of your defective varios again.
The future of the Flytec Connect 1
With Naviter taking over the Flytec brand as well as the Element line of varios for paraglider and hang glider pilots, naturally many people wonder about the future of the Connect 1. As you can probably imagine, bringing together two brands and product lines is a big task, and many answers will evolve only over time. What we know so far:
- The current support team (mainly myself) will continue to provide support for the Connect 1 – for now through firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Warranty for all Connect 1 remains valid. The Swiss company Flytec AG will stand up for all such cases.
- Repairs remain available – for now at least through the existing Flytec Repair Centres.
- Software development will continue, with three developers (Christian, Mimo and now also myself) working on future releases.
- The next software release is now ready for Alpha-testing. We expect a public release by October 15. It brings French and Russian translations, direct entry of numeric values through a keyboard, improved XC distance calculations and further improvements.
- Hardware development for FLARM and pitot will continue. We will work with an external development company to wrap up the development and go into production.
Expect more answers over the next few weeks. Overall, I still very much believe in our vision of a high-end vario which is as easy to use and operate as a modern mobile phone. So we continue on our path, keeping in mind all the Connect 1 owners.
Flytec at Coupe Icare
From September 22 to 25, we will be at Coupe Icare in St. Hilaire. We are looking forward to welcoming you at our booth J14 in the Barish pavilion, to show you our growing vario range, and talk about your wishes and our plans for the future.
We will be able to do simple repairs on site. We will take more complicated cases back home with us, to return them to you within the following week.
Update for Connect 1: Choose your pages and data fields
Buzzard 15 is now ready for download. The highlights:
- Choice of displayed flight pages and the indicators displayed on those pages
- Indicator for flown distance over three points
- Improved wind calculation
Mimo is currently competing in the Swiss Open (and flew into the top 10 today!). As soon as he's back, we'll continue with with airspaces.
New software for Connect 1 and Element Track
We just released version Buzzard 14 for the Connect 1. Important additions:
- Multiple start gates for race routes
- Switching radius in XC routes can be set for each route
- IGC files contain C records, and can now be used to document record flights
Additionally, we removed a number of blemishes and mistakes. In the background, we updated several base libraries, which has a positive effect on stability and performance.
Buzzard 15 is already well under way: Christian has implemented page selection, and field content selection. Mimo is working on an in-flight calculation of the actual XC distance.
Element Track (formerly Element)
For the Element Track, we also have a new version: 1.4.17. This removes a problem we saw in some updates from very old versions (1.0 and 1.1) to 1.4. New functionality will come with the next release, especially the vario profiles that have already proven very useful in the Element Speed.
Update for Connect 1
Buzzard 13 is now ready for download and brings many improvements for flying XC. The highlights:
- Distance and required glide to next waypoint and to goal (along optimized route for race routes)
- Option to advance to next turnpoint and retract to previous turnpoint within a route
- Indicator for race times
We're now working on the last navigation features for this first round, and then we'll continue with airspaces.
Flytec Element Speed
This week we produced the first Flytec Element Speed, and sent them out to our dealers. In the development of the Element Speed, we invested a lot of time and effort to make this basic vario really easy to operate, without cutting back on functionality. And we're proud of the results. Especially the pre-defined, but adjustble vario profiles are a big step:
Now, it's possible for all pilots, even those without a big technical background, to fly in a wide variety of conditions and still have the correct vario settings. No more "my vario is too nervous" or "my vario is too slow"! Chose between weak, normal and strong thermals, and you have the ideal vario for your next flight. Happy flying!
6030 special edition 2016
Until May 31st, the red 2016 special edition of the 6030 can be ordered at your Flytec dealer.
Race routes for Connect 1, improvements for Element Track
With the newest software version for the Connect 1, it's now also possible to enter race routes. Navigation leads then along the shortest way through the route. Happy racing!
At the same time we released a new software version for the Element (Track), which prevents the GPS indication to freeze up mid-flight.
The Element displays airspaces
Upload airspace files in OpenAir format onto your Element via USB
Activate the files you'd like displayed in the Menu: Airspaces > Import AS, activate one or more files with F1
Flytec Demo Centre
We have moved
New software version for the Connect 1
After one of our test pilots pointed out a bug with the map orientation in conjunction with an active route, we have fixed the problem and a new software version is now ready for download.
XC route for Connect 1
Buzzard 11 is now ready for download. The highlights:
- Import of waypoint files
- Creation and flying XC routes
- Faster creation of flight pages
Next up: optimized race route.
Element: News about airspaces
Last week we were finally ready: We published the first version of the Element software with airspace support. But before we could let the general public know, some pilots (including "head testing honcho" Jörg) experienced software problems with vario freeze-up. This is why we went back to the previous version, 1.3.10 for now. Besides moving offices, we are now working intensively on fixing this problem, followed by in-depth testing, in order to finally release version 1.4, with airspaces, to everybody.
Office move: Support, repairs and orders
We're already in the middle of our office move. This has some effects on our daily business:
Support: Until April 4th, we won't be able to respond to support requests on the phone since our developers and support staff won't be close to a phone most of the time. Please send your questions to email@example.com instead - we will do our best to answer those messages within 2-3 days.
Repairs: We're currently unable to perform repairs. Please only send us your defective varios after April 4th - we will then repair them as quickly as possible and send them back to you. For urgent cases, please contact Flytec Germany.
Orders: We continue to do everything we can to fulfill your orders within 1-2 days. But at least during the last two weeks of March (March 21 to April 1st), we have to expect some delays. Please account for this if you plan to put in some urgent orders before the end of the month.
Starting April 4th, everything should be back to normal - just at a new location: Allmendstrasse 18 in Horw (yes, exactly, the number stays the same, only the street changes).
Phone works again!
Our phone problems are finally resolved. You can reach us once again under our regular number: +41 41 349 18 88
'Tis the season...
It has finally gotten cold here in Switzerland and we are ready for many a Christmas feast with our families and friends. We say goodbye for this year, our Swiss team will be back for you on January 4th, our German team on January 7th.
We look forward to 2016 and to continue with the fantastic support we have received throughout the last year from our business partners and pilots alike.
In that spirit, thank you all for your support, have a peaceful holiday season and some great flying on the other side of the globe,
Your Flytec Team
Online user manuals
Under manuals.flytec.ch we
have launched our online manuals in a style you are
familiar with from Wikipedia. We kick this off with the manual for the Connect 1, which
is now complete and will be easy to keep up to date with every software update. Over time we will add the Element, as well as all future varios.
Airspaces for Connect 1
Albatross 6 is now ready for download. The highlights are airspaces and scrolling between different flight pages.
- Airspaces: Connect the Connect 1 via USB to a computer and drag the desired airspace file in OpenAir format into the folder "airspaces". Disconnect the vario and reboot it.
- Multi page flight app: In flight mode you can now switch between different pages with the arrows at the bottom right and left of the screen. The map page shows nearby airspaces. Configure the orientation of the map by tapping on the screen.
- Zooming: On the map/airspace page you can additionally zoom in and out with the plus and minus keys.
- USB processing information: The Connect 1 now informs you of background processes when connecting to and disconnecting from a computer via USB.
New firmware version for Flytec 6020/6030 and Bräuniger Competino+/Compeo+
The newest firmware versions prevent our varios Flytec 6020/6030 and Bräuniger Competino+/Compeo+ from occasionally freezing up right after launch, and no longer reacting to any key presses: At each boot-up, we check the flight memory, and if there are problems with that memory, all existing flights are exported to the SD card. Then the whole flight memory is re-initialized, which prevents the freeze-up.
Additionally task entry for competition routes has become slightly easier and faster.
V 3.38j for Flytec 6030 / Bräuniger Compeo+
July update for Connect 1
The new version, Albatross 4.1.8, records flights as IGC files. Through the USB connection, the Connect 1 can be connected with any PC (desktop or laptop under OS X, Windows or Linux), to copy the flight data to the computer.
Software update for Connect 1
The new version, Albatross 3.0.5
introduces speed above ground indication. Update instructions are
available on the Connect 1 software page.
The plan had been to include the creation of IGC-files, which can then be copied directly onto a PC through the USB port. Unfortunately, we ran into several technical difficulties, which led to delays. Meanwhile, everything is working, we are testing intensively and the plan is to publish the functions "IGC file generate" and "USB Mass Storage" in mid-July. This may result in a shift for the other releases, but currently but we still expect to introduce a first version of the airspace display at the end of July or soon after.
Flytec Connect 1 available
The Flytec Connect 1, the long-awaited first-ever smart vario, has successfully passed the final testing phase with 100 test pilots and is now officially available. All Flytec vendors are happily waiting to take your orders.
The Connect 1 fulfils the dreams of all those pilots who want to concentrate on flying, and are looking for a vario that unburdens them from the technical tasks as much as possible: Automatic firmware updates via WiFi, later also automatic airspace updates and automatic flight data upload to online servers are some of the highlights. We designed and developed the Connect 1 from the ground up as an air sports instrument, with high requirements for durability, outdoor usability and low power consumption of all components.
The hardware now meets all our requirements. As for the, after a restart in September last year, we are not quite there yet. Therefore, we bring the Connect 1 to market with a special price model, following the motto "the sooner the cheaper": Over the next few months, the functionality will continue to grow, with a release about every 4 weeks. At the same time, the selling price increases as functionality rises.
So pilots have the choice: Either enter early and at a favorable price, to discover new features with each release. Or wait a little longer, until the desired functions are available, but then pay a slightly higher price. No matter when you purchase your Connect 1, the software updates will always be free.
Bugfix Release 1.1.04 for the Element
We fixed two more errors in the Element firmware. Until now, it could happen that the Element “forgot” to create an IGC file after a flight. The pilot could do this later manually, but of course, we want to Element to do the work, not the pilot. In addition, at times it could happen that the Element became unresponsive to any user input, and could only be turned off by removing the batteries. This obviously is also highly undesirable behavior. That is why we are glad that the new version 1.1.04 puts those problems behind us.
Waypoint import for Element available now
With the newest firmware release for the Flytec Element, waypoint files can now be directly imported, making the Element the perfect companion for races and planned cross country flights.
We have finished a first English edition of the Element manual, which can be accessed on the Element website.
The documentation on the vario will continue evolving as the Element gets its remaining features throughout the year. At the same time we will now start working on the German and French editions.
Testival in Lijak, Slovenia
This weekend! On 28th and 29th of March you find Flytec at the Paragliding Testival in Lijak, Slovenia. At the same time the popular hike&fly competition takes place - with a Flytec Sonic as a prize.
FLARM: update 6.0 now available
The FLARM firmware update 6.0 is now available. This update is required to ensure operation of the collision warning system after April 1, 2015.
All relevant information can be found on our FLARM download page.
Firmware update for the Element
We released a new version of the Flytec Element's firmware. This version increases the battery lifetime considerably. Download and installation instructions.
Flytec at Thermik fair
The Thermik fair in Sindelfingen, Germany takes place this year on February 28th. We will use this occasion to unveil the first smart vario. Erich and Christian, the two Flytec chief developers, are looking forward to welcoming you at our booth.
Bräuniger is now Flytec
It’s now more than ten years since Bräuniger was acquired by Swiss vario maker Flytec. Since then, the two companies have sold the same products, each under their own name.
From 2015 onwards, all new varios will be available exclusively under the name Flytec. At the same time, the company Bräuniger Flugelectronic GmbH was renamed to Flytec Germany GmbH. As of today, the two companies present themselves with the same Web site. These steps allow us to put all our strength behind a single brand.
For our vendors and pilots, nothing will change: Your contacts and commercial processes will remain the same. You should also expect the same high standards of quality and service from us that you have become used to over the years.
The Element is here!
On the day before Christmas, the very first Element tumbled out of our production. In the meantime, the first dealers have received their orders. Those who want to be amongst the first to hold our newest vario in their hands should pay a visit to their flying school.
Over the next few months the Element will get better and better, with new functionality to supplement the existing basic set: Airspace support, optimized race routes and altitude above ground. These updates, as well as future new functionality, is included in the purchase price.
We are now a member of the PMA
The Paraglider Manufacturers Association (PMA) accepted our request for membership. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with the leading equipment manufacturers in our sport towards its future.
New firmware for SensBox
- Combines Vario and Logger modes: Right after starting the SensBox, chose “FLY” for Vario mode, or “LOG” for Logger mode. In Vario mode, the output is an IGC file in the \tracks directory. In Logger mode, the output is a CSV file in the \logs directory.
- Configuration file (FScxxxxx.cfg) is now automatically created if missing.
- Bug fix: Now barometric altitude is updated at up to 8 Hz in Logger mode (was only 1 Hz before)
New FlyChart version
- no more licence required for full functionality
- Airspace import in FAF format
New use for the SensBox
It is well known that the SensBox works perfectly in combination with several iPhone and Android apps. But only a few pilots realise so far that the SensBox can also be used without connection to a smart phone, as a stand-alone vario with IGC recording – this makes the SensBox a perfect backup or hike&fly instrument. Almost unknown is the fact that the SensBox is also a first class data logger for a huge number of interesting sensor values. This is an area where we see a use that could interest many people also outside the free flying scene: Data collection for outdoor videos.
In logger mode, instead of IGC files, the SensBox creates text files with all sensor values, recorded at high frequency. This data can then be evaluated in Excel or with other softwares. For instance with Dashware.
We are now looking for outdoor sports enthusiasts who record their adventures on video, and who would like to make those videos even more attractive with the help of our SensBox. Or developers of sports and outdoor gear who wish to gain new insights into their prototypes from data-enriched videos. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Fresh thermals at Flytec
Dear Flytec friends
After 31 years, the time has come to pass on Flytec’s management to a new generation. We are pleased to introduce today Jörg Ewald as our successor. Jörg is an active paraglider pilot with a broad technical background. For us it was important hand over to someone who will keep our vision for the company alive. We want Flytec to continue inventing and building the technical tools that allow paraglider pilots, hang glider pilots and balloonists to realise their flying dreams.
The two of us will remain connected with Flytec, but will withdraw from the daily business over the next few months. Therefore already now a big thank you to all our customers, dealers, partners and employees for bearing with us over such a long time.
Peter “Jodok” Joder, founder
Lorenz “Lenz” Camenzind, manager
I already had the pleasure of meeting some of you over those 22 years that I’ve been flying paragliders now. Most of you will probably never have heard of me, so here’s a quick introduction:
I grew up in the east of Switzerland, partially on a glider port. I fly paragliders since 1992, participate in the World Cup since 2004 and was part of the Swiss National Team in 2010. Whenever weather and agenda allow, I go out for cross-country flights, my furthest so far took me 212 km over the Swiss Alps.
In 1995, I graduated from ETH Zürich, in software engineering. From then on I worked for multiple companies, in Switzerland and in the United States, as a software engineer, project manager and team lead. After a second degree from ETH Zürich, in technology management, I became product manager for a security software brand. In my most recent position I advised companies on implementing their online business projects.
At Flytec, I will now be able to combine those two worlds, flying and technology. Making the joy of flight easy to experience, thanks to modern technology. That will always be Flytec’s goal. To reach it, we will be more in touch with you, to hear what we can do to make your flying even better.
I’m looking forward to that