About SkyDemon

We are an independent, successful software company based in the UK. We're committed to designing the highest-quality software and integrating and developing the highest-quality aeronautical data, in order to provide a service that saves pilots time and money by making safe flying much easier.

SkyDemon HQ

Innovative Market Leader

Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at SkyDemon, driven by a our own designs and influenced by feedback from tens of thousands of subscribers. Almost every company in our industry describes themselves as a market leader, but in our case, we can actually prove it. Here are just a few examples of the features we have invented, most of which are now standard among all general aviation software.

Stability

SkyDemon is an independent British company with a small team of people dedicated to excellence in everything we do. We've always been profitable and have never borrowed a penny from anybody. It's a privilege to have tens of thousands of people trusting our products every day, and it's great fun to be able to make such a huge difference in aviation.

Our biggest asset is the intellectual property we have developed that powers the SkyDemon product line. Superbly engineered, much of our source code is shared between the various platform versions of SkyDemon, but with native presentation layers developed for each supported device. This means that our customers get the same robust SkyDemon functionality delivered through an experience that feels just right for the type of device they're using.

A Force for Good

Over the years we have built one of the most respected brands in European general aviation. We are trusted and loved by our subscribers because of the approach we take to ensuring their lives are made as easy as possible. We work tirelessly to take away the tedious and boring aspects of VFR flying, dealing with the many and varied problems associated with the provision of aeronautical data and services, leaving the customer only with the very enjoyable parts.

We have established partnerships with a small number of carefully selected companies over the years, to whom we bring significant revenue streams in return for integrating their excellent products within the SkyDemon platform. Services like EuroFPL flightplan filing and products like Pooley's and DFS airfield plates, for example.

Over the years our success has been recognised with a number of awards and medals, detailed below. In 2020 our founder Tim Dawson was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to aviation safety.

Company History

SkyDemon is a trading name of Divelements Limited. In 2006 Tim Dawson, managing director and chief software architect at Divelements, earned his private pilot's license. Shortly afterwards he began work on a tool to help him plan VFR flights, bringing together the various disparate pieces of information needed for such pilots to make decisions before flight. The tool continued to be developed as a hobby. In 2009 the technology used in the tool was ported to Windows CE and GPS functionality added, and at this point the decision was made to launch the project commercially. Thus we entered the flight-planning and aviation GPS moving map industries; two industries that had until that point stagnated and received little of the attention they deserve.

2010

The sales of our flight-planning software did extremely well, and SkyDemon became the standard for flight-planning in the UK. From this we were able to develop the first in our own range of handheld aviation GPS units (the Mobile SD), and these went on sale in September. While many of our competitors were still producing devices that did little more than move scanned paper charts around an aircraft symbol, our devices gave pilots an unparalleled level of situational awareness and safety.

2011

This year saw us broaden our horizons further afield, gaining significant traction in Europe. With the release of SkyDemon 2.0 the product integrated an unparalleled amount of helpful briefing data and content, and supported instant filing of VFR flightplans. We released SkyDemon Light, a basic flight-planning tool completely free of charge to UK pilots and endorsed by NATS. Our new Mobile MD GPS became popular overnight, and SkyDemon Web was launched so that our subscribers could access the service more easily when away from home.

2012

This was the year of the iPad. We made a huge splash with the release of SkyDemon for iPad early in the year, which within two months became the dominant European aviation app on the platform. To date, SkyDemon for iPad remains the highest-rated (by users) aviation planning/navigation app available. We also started integrating airfield plates, licensed from all European AIPs and provided for free to all subscribers, and also with paid content licensed from carefully selected local suppliers like Pooley's. We experienced huge growth among our subscriber base due in part to our availability on more platforms.

2013

With the rapid rise in popularity of the Android platform, we spent the first few months of 2013 writing SkyDemon for Android and bringing it to market. Needless to say, this product is now the dominant general aviation software on the Android platform in Europe. Later in the year we brought SkyDemon to iPhone, again due to popular demand. Georeferenced plates became more and more popular as we expanded the number of third-party providers who sell their content through SkyDemon. Again, we experienced huge growth in our subscriber numbers as our product became available on more platforms, particularly in mainland Europe.

2014

We focused a lot on our European mapping support in 2014, delivering high-resolution terrain in mountainous areas and many other improvements as a result of directly engaging with customers in specific regions. We implemented a programme of chart improvements to ensure our maps look at their best at every single scale. Our Android product proved so popular that we made a significant effort bringing its features inline with those of our iOS product. We sourced GAFOR forecast data directly from authorities and integrated it into SkyDemon, a world first for any company.

2015

We started this year with a massive investment in our large-scale mapping technologies and tools, which made it possible for us to open up useful new map scales including airfield ground details such as taxiways, buildings, paved areas, holds and much more. We also incorporated basic approach guidance for the first time, helping the pilot orientate themselves to the active circuit side and direction. We invented the Airfield Brief, an instrument which appears automatically in certain situations to give you context-sensitive information about your target airfield. A new Satellite Map feature helps pilots create and position user waypoints using aerial photography.

2016

For the first time we incorporated rainfall data into SkyDemon, and revisited the way all weather and NOTAM information is downloaded and displayed in the product. A new Airfields section brings together all documents and airfield information into one handy place, also incorporating circuits and traffic guidance data along with aerial imagery to make studying airfields before flight easy. We made a huge investment into a new printing engine which allows us to produce beautifully rendered pre-flight and post-flight output on all our supported platforms. Our support for GAFOR forecasts expanded into Germany, where GAFOR area information is seamlessly integrated into our maps.

2017

With the emergence of traffic information being received from other aircraft, we invented a simple radar-style traffic display that shows other local traffic and highlights any other aircraft that is a threat. We designed a vertical "stack" showing airspace at the side of our What's Here screen to improve situational awareness. We wanted to make our service more social by connecting our users, so we implemented a Pilot Feedback area for airfields so pilots could leave tips, tricks and useful information next to any airfield for others to read. We made our in-flight chart zoom automatically depending on your phase of flight, so you have the most relevant information onscreen at any time, and we created a Radio tab for quick frequency lookup.

In May we were awarded the Jeffrey Quill medal by the Air League, for our work in the field of encouraging airmindedness, particularly in younger pilots. Tim Dawson accepted the medal on behalf of the team from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony at St James’s Palace in London.

In October we were given the Sir James Martin award by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, in recognition of an outstanding and practical contribution to the safer operation of aircraft. Tim Dawson and Hannah Hart attended a ceremony at the Guildhall in London where we received the medal from Air Marshal Sir Stuart Atha.

2018

We started this year by reworking our flight logging engine, making it capable of logging more things such as engine and blocks time, multiple flight and user notes. We improved aircraft performance modelling by introducing more detailed data, and made our software simpler to use by making IFR features opt-in. We created a comprehensive Aerial Photography feature supporting aeronautical overlays and route manipulation, and enhanced our social features with Find a Destination, where users can filter appropriate airfields based on their needs. We made it easy to select any kind of approach to an airfield and to visualise that approach on the map.

In April we won the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in both the Innovation and International Trade categories. The whole team attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace where we met HRH The Prince of Wales and spoke with him about SkyDemon.

2019

We started the year with a breakthrough feature that verbalised traffic information and other warnings. Unlike spoken traffic information from other systems, ours intelligently analyses trajectories to alert the pilot only about traffic that is relevant, in just the way a real controller would do. We added features to help visualise logs, routes and airfields in 3D in Google Earth and incorporated temporary airspace established by some countries in SUP documents into our charts. We wrote a full sync engine so users could more easily keep track of their waypoints and aircraft profiles between devices. Our Find tool was reworked to incorporate free-text searching for street addresses, to help primarily helicopter pilots quickly locate towns, houses and points of interest.

Charitable Work

We regularly support causes that are close to the hearts of the team at SkyDemon. Some of our more significant work is detailed below.

2015

We helped sponsor a conference held by Code First Girls, an organisation that encourages more women and girls into technology with free coding courses. Women tend to be under-represented in both software and aviation.

2017

We created the SkyDemon disabled flying scholarship in partnership with Aerobility. Our first scholars were Harvey Mathewson and Damian Hunter, both of whom are now PPL license holders.

2018

We established a scholarship through the Air League, a charity that breaks down barriers into aviation and targets disadvantaged youngsters and wounded and injured servicemen and women among others. Our first scholar was Toby Mayne (aged 20) who was later awarded the Prince Philip Flying Scholarship.

Our Aerobility disabled flying scholarship was awarded to Kev Arblaster, Christian Baker and Tim Purcell. Kev and Christian are now PPL license holders and Tim is still under training.

2019

Our Air League scholarship was awarded to Jordan Owen, who is looking to pursue a career as a professional pilot within the armed forces.

Our Aerobility disabled flying scholarship was awarded to Ben Cook and Clive Jones, both of whom are still under training.

We supported three cancer charities this year, with funds going to Cancer Research UK, Bowel Cancer UK and We Hear You.

2020

In Q1 and Q4 we ran a trial programme where for every annual personal SkyDemon subscription purchased or renewed, we would plant a tree. Of course that meant we had many thousands of trees to plant, and we settled on schemes in UK, Ireland, Kenya and Mozambique, all countries where SkyDemon is popular. We achieved this through the Arbor Day Founation.

Our Aerobility disabled flying scholarship was awarded to Bradley Brockies and Tim Purcell. Bradley was 16 years of age at the time of scholarship award, and Tim took advantage of our scholarship for the second time to further his training.

We supported Cancer Research UK.