Copyright © 2016  Grand Rapids Technologies, Inc.

Electronic Flight Instrumentation for Experimental Aircraft Since 1991

Waypoint Balloons

Some of our customers affectionately call them “lollipops,” but the pink balloons on your PFD are more than just eye candy.

What is it?

Waypoint Balloons are markers that highlight the GPS waypoints in your flight plan on the PFD. They are another feature of Synthetic Vision technology designed to make it easier to navigate.

Each balloon is on a tether that points directly to the waypoint on the ground. In the case of airports, the tether is attached to the geographic center of the airport. The balloons are raised and lowered with the altitude bug. They can be connected together with course ribbons, which function as “highway-in-the-sky” enroute course markers between waypoints at your selected cruising altitude.

The balloon over the active waypoint is always magenta. Other waypoints in a flight plan are marked with white balloons. If a waypoint is beyond the range of the synthetic vision (30 miles in Horizon systems and 10 miles in Sport systems), the tether disappears, and only the balloon is visible. An approaching balloon can appear to rise over the horizon as you get closer to the waypoint (as seen lower right), further reinforcing the illusion of space and perspective on the PFD.

How do I turn it on?

  1. Press MORE or NEXT > Set Menu > Primary Flight Display.
  2. Scroll to Waypoint Balloons and select ON or OFF.

How do I use it?

In an enroute crosswind situation, keep the flight path marker on the waypoint balloon to fly directly to the waypoint. The balloon always gives you an accurate picture of where your next waypoint is, even if you can’t see it out the window or it’s beyond the effective range of the synthetic vision. Change the altitude bug to raise and lower the balloon.

Note the magenta diamond on the HSI shown at right which points at the next waypoint; it also points at the waypoint balloon appearing to rise over the horizon line.