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Satellite Radio to broadcast weather data



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 1st 03, 05:10 AM
Richard Kaplan
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Default Satellite Radio to broadcast weather data


"John Harlow" wrote in message
...

Were they of any help other than telling you to "wait for production

units"?
Seems their customer relations could use a little help.


They offered me the "first production unit" by express mail (maybe to arrive
this week?, we will see). I offered to be a beta tester so I would have
more experience by the time my Oshkosh talk rolls around, but they were not
interested.

Compared witih the current datalink competition, $50 per month flat rate is
actually pretty good or at least competitive.

--
Richard Kaplan, CFII

www.flyimc.com


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  #2  
Old July 1st 03, 05:15 AM
Richard Kaplan
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"James M. Knox" wrote in message
...

Trouble is, a "per use" business model doesn't give you a sustaining (or
easily relied upon) income.


Some of the other datalink vendors do indeed have a "per use" business
model.

The problem there is that there is an economic incentive to request the
least weather possible, which is not an idea I really like. If weather is
really out there then I would just as soon set up the box to download the
weather as often as it is available so I can monitor my progress.

It is sort of like the question of whether we would request weather
briefings less often if we had to pay per call to 1-800-WX-BRIEF.



--
Richard Kaplan, CFII

www.flyimc.com


  #3  
Old July 3rd 03, 06:26 PM
Ronnie Brown
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And compared to the high cost of a $5000 to $10,000 installation of a storm
scope/ strike finder and its limited information, $50 per month for a wealth
of weather data is not that bad! That would cover about 5-10 years worth of
monthly fees. And you know the monthly cost will go down as more
competition gets in the business.

Ronnie Brown


  #4  
Old July 4th 03, 04:42 PM
[email protected]
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"James M. Knox" wrote:


Trouble is, while $600 per year may not be bad for a corporate jet that
flies several times a week (or more) in virtually any weather, the rest of
GA is largely "fair weather" fliers. The weather information will be very
useful, potentially even life-saving, but may only really be needed a few
times per year. So you are talking about adding perhaps $150 to the cost
of each of those flights. Pretty steep.


The serious biz jet ranges in cost between $12 and $40 mil. So, the cost of
software is a drop in the pool of business costs and benefits. Also, the
mid-price and upwards, biz jets are serious flying machines, as much so as any
air carrier jet.

OTOH, the typical light aircraft is, relatively speaking, an expensive (albeit
nice, if used carefully) toy.

  #5  
Old July 4th 03, 04:45 PM
Richard Kaplan
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"James M. Knox" wrote in message
...


Yeah, but aren't we missing something? Ignoring the fact that I got my
stormscope (installed) for a total of around $2800 (which would probably

be
more like $3200 in 2003 dollars), we still have the capital and
installation costs of the XM unit? What does the "aviation FAA PMA


1. There are no installation costs for the XMRadio unit -- it is portable,
and unlike the WSI In Flight system, the XMRadio antenna is not permanently
installed so it is truly a portable device, just like a handheld GPS.

2. The XMRadio unit should cost notably less as a capital investment than a
stormscope -- they are saying under $1000 but the final details are unknown.
But really the comparison in price is not to a Stormscope, but rather to
panel-mount weather datalink units, where there is no comparison -- say
$1000 for XMRadio vs. over $10,000 for most panel-mount weather datalink
systems with an MFD.

3. Comparing this to a Stormscope also does no make sense because weather
datalink is NOT a replacement for sferics -- sferics is clearly more
important and probably more useful than ANY weather datalink system.

4. Lots of pilots rent airplanes or for other reasons fly or instruct in
airplanes they do not own. In that case, the XMRadio system seems to have a
major portability advantage over most of the competition.

5. It is true that the XMRadio system requires a laptop computer or PDA for
its display, but is it really fair to include that in the price considering
that many (most?) pilots probably already own a PDA or laptop for other
reasons?

--
Richard Kaplan, CFII

www.flyimc.com


  #6  
Old July 4th 03, 04:53 PM
Richard Kaplan
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wrote in message ...

OTOH, the typical light aircraft is, relatively speaking, an expensive

(albeit
nice, if used carefully) toy.


Alternatively, you could say that a $1000 capital investment and $50 per
month in subscription fees can give a $50,000 GA airplane the same quality
weather information as is available to a $10,000,000 business jet -- that is
quite a value.

I am not saying that a piston single can ever match the weather dispatch
rate of a business jet. But when you consider the incremental improvement
that can be gained from weather datalink -- and especially from portable
weather dataillnk -- it is indeed an excellent value for those who use
piston airplanes for practical travel.

This is all very similar to the situational awareness advantage gained by
portable GPS systems -- a handheld Garmin 295 or 196 gives more situational
awareness than used to be available on steam-gauge airliners certified for
Cat III landings.


--
Richard Kaplan, CFII

www.flyimc.com


  #7  
Old July 4th 03, 06:30 PM
[email protected]
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Richard Kaplan wrote:


This is all very similar to the situational awareness advantage gained by
portable GPS systems -- a handheld Garmin 295 or 196 gives more situational
awareness than used to be available on steam-gauge airliners certified for
Cat III landings.


No doubt about that!

Then again, the handhelds are no good for a CAT III autolanding. ;-)

 




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