A Microsoft Windows driven computer program designed by
and for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to plan
flying missions was recently deemed good enough to be named a
finalist in a worldwide software competition.
Called FalconView, the program was selected as one of only
five finalists in the "core business" category of the 1997 World
Windows Open, an international competition designed to award
developers and their companies for their innovative custom
application work solving business problems using the Microsoft
Windows platform. Winners were announced at an awards dinner by
Bill Gates, chief executive for Microsoft Corporation at the
Windows World/Comdex Spring 97 conference being held this week in
"Spirits have been very high here at the FalconView team
since being named as a finalist in the Windows World Open, "
said Air National Guard Maj. Bobby Sandford, one of two
members showcasing FalconView at the Atlanta conference.
"It's like being nominated for an Academy Award! Although we
didn't write this code intending to enter a competition, it's
a great achievement for the team to be recognized and it's
exciting to participate in the contest."
Under the old system, flight planning -- be it across a
state or around the world -- required access to numerous maps,
charts, weather information and other reference documents that
were not always available or current. Using FalconView, aircrews
members can easily view elevation data, satellite imagery,
airport data, and navigational aid and hazard information from
their personal computer. In the day-to-day work arena, pilots
use FalconView to build their flight plans, check safety-of-
flight parameters to identify military airspace and to print
flight plans, maps and imagery.
Planning accuracy and safety have increased across the force
due to the use of precise digital data and aeronautical mapping
products. In addition, a FalconView/GPS link provides inflight
precision location displays in the cockpit of many military
aircraft that would otherwise
lack this capability. Mission specific software enables fighter
aircraft to hit their targets and airplanes to drop their cargo
accurately. Global positioning satellite data allows precision
locating for search and rescue and humanitarian efforts.
Using off-the-shelf technology and user feedback to
continually enhance the program, FalconView has moved well beyond
the Guard and Reserve aviators for whom it was originally
designed. Its easy to use Windows interface has led to its
successful fielding across Air Force flying units to more 13,000
For more information on Falcon View and it's uses in the Air
National Guard and Air Force Reserve, contact National Guard
Bureau Office of Public Affairs at (703) 695-0421.