June 2008 Issue

Datalink Weather: WSI Beats XM By a Hair

Both vendors provide the critical stuff well and reliably, but WSI leads on lightning, storm identification and icing products.

Datalink weather from WSI (Weather Services International) or through XM-based WxWorx, are far more alike than different. Even the pricing is identical for the basic and second-tier service, at $29.99 and $49.99 a month respectively. But close examination reveals a few key differences. Remember that vendors, such as Avidyne or NavAero, decide how to display the data from either service in any manner they choose, and even what data to display. WSI (WSI InFlight) and WxWorx (WxWorx on Wings) both provide their own software that displays all of their broadcast products, so thatís what weíll use for our head-to-head comparison. Ground-based radar is the cash cow of both services. Its high glance-value is the reason why pilots justify the fixed $30 or $50 monthly subscription. There is no clear-cut winner since both vendors broadcast a nearly identical ground-based radar product thatíll tell you where you are likely to spill your coffee.

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