One if by Land, Two if by iPad

Non-commercial pilots have historically been the early adopters of technology for use in the cockpit; however the iPad has been a game changer. You see your iPad is not only a cool thing to watch movies on; for the last few years pilots have been using it as a portable moving map display. Before the iPad and other tablets, having a moving map in a light aircraft has been prohibitively expensive.

Now companies are making technology to enhance the performance of the iPad in the airplane as demonstrated by the unveiling of Stratus, a wireless GPS receiver for use with iOS devices . Sporty’s, the largest pilot shop in the United States made the announcement at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 last week. The receiver connects to the iOS device via WiFi for use by an app called Foreflight. The iPad has changed the way pilots manage their navigation information, as the paper charts that visual and instrument pilots use to navigate have mostly been reduced or eliminated. That has saved weight and time flipping through books to find the right chart while flying the airplane. I can hear the trees cheering. Continue reading

Hump Day at SNF…The Lost Post

Father and daughter sit atop the family’s Waco UPF-7 and watch aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker defy physics and physiology in his highly modified Pitts Special biplane.

I started this post last Wednesday (March 27) but got too busy to finish it so here are some cool things I found mid-week at Sun ‘n Fun 2012. Hump day meant literally humping around the grounds looking at lots of airplanes. I also talked to two women who certainly epitomize the aviation spirit, a man with eight airplanes and a bus, and a guy named Herb who had all the answers, just not the ones you expected.  Continue reading

I’m a Sun ‘n Fun Virgin

The last airworthy B-29 “FIFI”, is currently touring the U.S.

I’m down in Lakeland, Florida this week at the second-largest fly-in in the United States. Sun ‘n Fun is kind of the kickoff to the flying season and like golf and the “southern swing” the weather is reliably good in this region for an outdoor event, and so the geographical location makes sense. As usual, when I travel to Florida for relaxation during the cold months, a heat wave hits the upper Midwest, mostly negating the benefit. Here we go again…

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