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Flight Log app for the iPhone...

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:33 pm
by snrkl
Got cranky at the lack of iPhone flight log apps for rocketry, so I decided to build my own.

Stumbled on Airtable, a cloud based database app with a free tier. It has Desktop and iOS clients and when I looked at the demo, would you believe it, one of the use cases was planning a rocket launch to Saturn!!

60mins later, I had almost the ALMOST PERFECT iphone enabled flight log app.

I have created a library of each of my rockets with all the relevant details you need to fill out launch cards (DIAM/CG/CP/LOW etc), includes what colour it is painted, a photo etc and I can even attach the ORK files. I can extend these records to include stuff like a motor/altitude and altitude/recovery drift table to make it easier to choose motors on the day.

When I create a launch log entry, I can choose the following from a drop down of entries in a catalogue:
a) Which of my rockets flew
b) Launch site location
c) motor used
d) recovery device used
e) altimeter fitted Y/N

I can then record altitude, windspeed, select SUCCESS or FAILURE for launch, recovery deployment and landing, add photos and any notes for the flight.



Airtable002.png (242.31 KiB) Viewed 813 times

The free edition of Airtable only has 2Gb of storage, so I won't be storing videos in there..

There are a few features in Airtable that would make this a PERFECT flight log book, both of which are apparently being looked at:
1) Once they add custom report printing, I should be able to create printable flight cards to save me filling out the card ones manually. The benefit is I will be able to select the rocket from the list and have all the relevant details automatically filled out, which would be cool!
2) Once they have "Get GPS coordinates" from the iOS app, I can use it to record launch and recovery locations, which will be cool.

3) One I haven't looked into yet: It would be good to find a way to automatically transfer the Altimeter3 data file to the launch log entry from iOS. Currently, I have to email it to myself and attach from a computer when I get home, which is plenty OK by me.

All up, I am pretty happy with what a few hours work has yielded!

And the best part: if I realise that I want an extra field or something I hadn't thought of (like this weekend when I realised I hadn't added support for booster motor details for my first two stage), I can add them, right from my phone on the flight line...