Atlases are a main feature in Flight. Without the help of this book navigating throughout the world would be more or less impossible. Normal road atlases and cheap smaller atlases are fine for navigating around cities, but certainly not around the world. The review below gives you a little insight into what the Free Flight Atlas has to hold inside its 192 page’s.
You may think that 192 pages are a little much for one atlas, but you are wrong. Starting from the beginning I’ll give you an insight into what the atlas has to offer page by page. Starting on the very first page is a Satellite Photo of the area where the atlas coves, naming all the seas and capitals of the world. Next we are given a Political Map of the countries which is colour co-ordinated. Now we move on to the actual aviation business, the Distance and VOLMET Broadcast map is given on a double page, showing the whole of what the atlas covers with the VOLMET broadcasting information and distances from city to city. The next section of the atlas is a very, very useful page showing Climate/Main Winds in Europe, obviously I don’t need to explain but basically it shows which direction the main winds of Europe blow in, and the different climate types for the different capitals.
The next page is a very interesting, showing the whole area of the northern hemisphere sky during the course of one whole year, giving you the information of different star formations and when and where they will be seen. As you flick to the next page you will see a detailed chart showing Traffic Information for the countries in Europe, giving you the information of speed limits for Roads and Motorways/Highways etc… alcohol limits, and SOS telephone numbers are all included. Over the page from that is the time zone information for the whole world, very useful!
Now the following pages give you a North Atlantic, Asia, and Africa overview of the radio frequencies for the airspace control (including VOR’s, DME’s and NBD) and main waypoints used when flying. Very interesting pages to look at! The next page shows you the Country Dialling codes again very useful when flying abroad. Then most importantly you are given a key for what the following pictures, words etc. are used for when looking at the following pages. That leads us to the next section of the atlas, the Main maps. These maps show you every country in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the highest detail. They will show you the main roads, cities, every river and lake, navigational information, and the land heights are all included. But the main thing I found when looking at this map was the airports, this map shows you every airport that have an ICAO code, all that are not listed are Glider Fields, and airports without an ICAO.
The airports are found either with the small aircraft symbol or the ICAO code which is listed on the map! They are given a certain colour either green, yellow, white and orange, size is also shown, small, medium or large, easy, but in case you don’t know medium = a medium size airport. Marked on the map are Red boxes in certain areas these either show Restricted or AMC managed area. Railways, Airspace and Monuments or Object’s are all shown. After the 100+ pages of highly detailed maps we move on to find, the legend of the map showing the symbols of everything from Post Office’s to Shopping Centres. Then below that there is a list of radio stations that can be found in the countries listed and displaying their frequency. Past that section we are given in great detail a double page map’s of cities including Berlin, London, Rome and Athens and many, many more showing all the roads and buildings. Then you’ll find yourself at the final 40 or so pages at the back of the book. But no they’re not like usual atlases displaying advertisements but Full of more crucial information. World Aircraft Registrations is a very good page to look at giving you the Registrations of all the aircraft from most countries in the world, example Madagascar = 5R or Oman = A40, I didn’t know that did You?
Then as we arrive even closer to the end we’ll find the Airport Directory, at the top you have ICAO Codes displaying the beginning two letters of the ICAO codes for all the countries worldwide, example Slovenia begins with LJ! Below that is a list of countries who are JAA members. Below that is an entire list of Airport Directories for the whole of Europe, Asia and Africa which includes glider-fields. Following that you are given the double page information of the VOMET broadcasting information.
Following that the atlas will reveal the Significant WX showing the symbols of all aviation symbols you may need when flying. Below that you are given a diagram showing Airport category for fire and rescue. The next page shows Metar information, Weather, Visibility, Runway State, Abbreviations Modifiers, Cloud Types all very detailed. A double page is then given to you showing you a Thunderstorm cycle, and how and what to do while flying in a thunderstorm. The final few pages give you a diagram of Climb gradients which are always very useful. Over you’ll see a diagram showing Cross winds, and their headings etc..
Is that it?
No, there is still more information here. On page 182 you are shown Holding information, Morse Code. Next is a full page of information when flying including approach’s a FULL De-Icing table (very interesting) The last pages give you coloured diagrams of symbols you’ll find at airports and what they are used for, Runway markings and what they mean. Then the back three pages show Search and Rescue information and what you should do, and Emergency Communication Procedures. Hopefully we’ll never need that page.
Now that is just a little information of what this amazing book has to offer. It includes lots more that I have not included. This book is the most amazing atlas I have ever seen, if you are a serious simmer or a pilot then you will never find a book that is better for flying with than this. How can a simmer or a Pilot do without it I will never know.
I was also sent the second book of this atlas, which includes the USA, Canada and Mexico. It is the exact same version except obviously the maps are different and based exactly in the same detail on the USA. All the above is included in one single coloured book for a price of only £16.70, $24.95 or 25.55 Euros.
Thanks To, The Pilots “Free Flight” Atlas for letting me review this product.