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