iPads in the cockpit

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
I've been debating on getting an iPad to use flying single-pilot IFR and just to have an extra back-up with me for the "just in case" scenario. I know some pilots who really like them a lot and I know others who don't particularly care for them. So...

I have been wondering a couple of things...

*Does the size of the current iPads make them a pain to use in the cockpit? I have been thinking of waiting to see if Apple releases the rumored iPad Mini this year.

*Have any of you tried them as a "digital kneeboard" with a leg strap?

*Have you had any problems with them not working or failing at bad times?

*Would you recommend a protective case for use in the cockpit?

*Are they useful for local flights (I do photographer runs and the occasional 91 lunch meeting... usually anywhere from .5 to 1.0... I also fly Traffic Watch and dodging thunderstorms in the afternoons can be a pain sometimes. The Nexrad might be nice for that.) or are they better suited for flying cross-country?

*Can anyone recommend any useful apps for pilots other than Foreflight? I tried the 3 month trial of that on my iPhone about a year back and loved it, but the iPhone just isn't practical for use in the cockpit for obvious reasons.
 

Pay2

Oberkellner
I've used my iPad in the cockpit for the last 3 years and I have no complaints. I fly mostly turboprops single pilot, and the iPad has been a valuable tool for me. To answer yor questions the size has never been an issue. I've never had the need to strap it to my leg or anything else. It sits just fine on top of my leg even in turbulence. My iPad has never failed and I've never had the battery die. I often have music running in the background when I'm using foreflight for inflight entertainment, and even with that I've never had any battery issues. Just about any iPad case will work. Even just one of those silicon sleeves. Nothing fancy or super strong needed.
As far as good apps, get foreflight on the iPad. I also have the fltplan.com app and logbook pro.
 

jskibo

Done
I use mine on a RAM yoke mount. I like it better Horizonatally on the yoke, but it does cause me to scroll the approach plates. Though since the type is bigger, its easier on my old eyes that way.

Hated it on my leg as I was always looking down. I did note that I had an anti-glare on my iPad1 and with the Oakleys or my perscription sunglasses it didn't work well.

I had used a iPad 1 WiFi with the Dual Bluetooth GPS since I bought them used at a good price. Battery life is now down to ~6 hours, so I picked up a new iPad2 3G from macmall, 32GB for $429. No more need for the dual GPS. I do like the Stratus and may purchase one in the future for the weather aspect.

Only failure I had was leaving it on the dash of the Warrior while I preflighted in summer. It over-heated and gave me the warning screen. Took about 10 min to cool off and restart.

I find it to be great for Situational Awareness. Also like that I can touch a point on the map, hit direct and get a quick heading and time estimate. On my second year of Foreflight Pro. Love the new runway visual and audi warnings (approach and crossing warning). Just keep getting better.

Use the FLTPLAN.com app on the iPad as well.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
The size issue depends on cockpit and your preference on lap or mounted. Except in a center stick aircraft, lap is no problem (pretty much the same size as a kneeboard). If you mount, the configuration of the aircraft can make a big difference.

Been flying with an iPad for just under 2 years. More than 90% of the paper I used to carry is gone.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I'm strongly considering Foreflight right now. $75 a year for everything it does seems like a bargain, and I already have an iPad3/4G (for work) so I don't need an external GPS.

Are there any competing products worth looking at? Or complementary products? Foreflight seems most popular, but there has to be others.
 

Acrofox

All fox
*Does the size of the current iPads make them a pain to use in the cockpit? I have been thinking of waiting to see if Apple releases the rumored iPad Mini this year.
A little. It doesn't fit in the conventional 'kneeboard' spot on the knee, for me. Then again, I'm 5'8, and conventional kneeboards don't usually fit there either, in airplanes with yokes.

*Have any of you tried them as a "digital kneeboard" with a leg strap?
Yes. For the Citabria, it works ok. For the Duchess/M252/C-210/every other airplane with a yoke that I've flown, it simply doesn't work with a yoke, as the corner of the yoke will plant right in the middle of the screen. For someone 6'+ with long legs, it might work just fine.
However, as thing to haul into my lap during cruise, it works just fine.

*Have you had any problems with them not working or failing at bad times?
Mine has never failed.

*Would you recommend a protective case for use in the cockpit?
They're pretty tough. As long as you don't mind little scratches in the aluminum back, you can treat them without any special precautions.

*Are they useful for local flights (I do photographer runs and the occasional 91 lunch meeting... usually anywhere from .5 to 1.0... I also fly Traffic Watch and dodging thunderstorms in the afternoons can be a pain sometimes. The Nexrad might be nice for that.) or are they better suited for flying cross-country?
I'm tempted by Stratus, but my current iPad is the wi-fi only version, so I use it primarily as an EFB / planner.

*Can anyone recommend any useful apps for pilots other than Foreflight? I tried the 3 month trial of that on my iPhone about a year back and loved it, but the iPhone just isn't practical for use in the cockpit for obvious reasons.
FF is my go-to. I think there's a lot of untapped potential out there in app-space, and I'm working on a couple apps to fill that in. My biggest issue is that I have too few use cases to really flesh out a number of apps as yet.

-Fox
 

jskibo

Done
I'm strongly considering Foreflight right now. $75 a year for everything it does seems like a bargain, and I already have an iPad3/4G (for work) so I don't need an external GPS.

Are there any competing products worth looking at? Or complementary products? Foreflight seems most popular, but there has to be others.
WingX Pro

Some other stuff in work by a major player....
 

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
So, with the iPad3 or later, you don't need to buy the GPS that plugs into it to get Nexrad? That would be nice to not have to attach anything.
How do the charts and maps work while you are flying?... Will it show you your position on an approach plate?

Thanks all for the replies.
 

Muff3n

Well-Known Member
So, with the iPad3 or later, you don't need to buy the GPS that plugs into it to get Nexrad? That would be nice to not have to attach anything.
How do the charts and maps work while you are flying?... Will it show you your position on an approach plate?

Thanks all for the replies.
The Stratus is the unit that gives you the nexrad radar. The GPS unit is what gives you GPS to use with foreflight. 3g versions of ipads have a built in GPS so you do not have to buy an external one such as a bad elf (which is what I have and am very pleased). If you DO NOT buy an ipad with 3g data service, then you must buy an external GPS, which will only give you position data, no nexrad. You must have the stratus unit which cost about 800 bucks to get weather.
 

mat

Well-Known Member
I've been using the ipad for 2 years with flying as the sole purpose. I'm debating on getting rid of my ipad for an android setup. The Google Nexus 7 is half the size, 8 x 5 inches, and it seems like it would be perfect. Naviator or Avilution would be the software. $200 for the Nexus, $50 for Naviator - $25 that comes free for the app store. I just need to play around with one.
 

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
I've been using the ipad for 2 years with flying as the sole purpose. I'm debating on getting rid of my ipad for an android setup. The Google Nexus 7 is half the size, 8 x 5 inches, and it seems like it would be perfect. Naviator or Avilution would be the software. $200 for the Nexus, $50 for Naviator - $25 that comes free for the app store. I just need to play around with one.
Is there anything about the iPad in particular that you dislike that would make you want to go Android? I've used both Androids and iPhones and I can't see wanting anything but Apple products, I love them. But to each they're own.
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Is there anything about the iPad in particular that you dislike that would make you want to go Android? I've used both Androids and iPhones and I can't see wanting anything but Apple products, I love them. But to each they're own.
Android does everything iStuff does, and more besides. The tablets have been lagging, but the next crop will probably blow the screen off the iPad. The iPhone 5 is about a year behind Android phones.

It's really too bad the airlines have been blinded by Crapple marketing and gone with iPads. The open nature of Android would allow them to do some truly amazing things that would never be possible on Apple products.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Android does everything iStuff does, and more besides. The tablets have been lagging, but the next crop will probably blow the screen off the iPad. The iPhone 5 is about a year behind Android phones.

It's really too bad the airlines have been blinded by Crapple marketing and gone with iPads. The open nature of Android would allow them to do some truly amazing things that would never be possible on Apple products.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
You can develop proprietary software for the iPad that isn't released in the apple store and doesn't have to abide by most of the policies on the app store.
 

Acrofox

All fox
Android does everything iStuff does, and more besides. The tablets have been lagging, but the next crop will probably blow the screen off the iPad. The iPhone 5 is about a year behind Android phones. It's really too bad the airlines have been blinded by Crapple marketing and gone with iPads. The open nature of Android would allow them to do some truly amazing things that would never be possible on Apple products.
Just because someone asserts that iOS is "behind" Android doesn't make it so. It's a common, but fallacious, argument.

Android is a train wreck. It's not a train wreck because of Linux or openness -- Linux, and most open-source software in general, is high-quality and receives sufficient peer review to maintain a solid core -- but instead because it's poorly conceived and poorly implemented under the hood. It's as cobbled together and poorly integrated as the devices that run it. Poor UI choices, rudimentary integration and message passing, no internal consistency and the only way to speed it up is to throw more raw power at it. (WebOS is a much better example of a linux-based phone OS implementation, albeit rudimentary; the hardware that it shipped on was terrible and it failed in the market.)

iOS, on the other hand, is actually relatively clean. It has a consistent and solid API layer and, while I don't necessarily like some of the design choices Apple made in that regard, it has the ability to grow at whatever rate Apple chooses.

iOS is like a building with a solid, wide foundation. Plumbing and electricity is integrated into the structural members, and the wetwalls are designated. There are empty conduits run for future expansion, but the whole thing is only a couple of stories tall. Android, by contrast, is a hundred story tower built on sticks and bricks and human backs, extending and swaying up into the sky, with a bunch of people standing atop gloating about how much higher they are than the Apple building. Extension cords are linked together to reach the top tiers, and people just walk to the side to use the bathroom.

But they're taller! All those idiots over there waiting in line to enter the Crapple building clearly have been blinded to the inherent superiority of Android. They can do amazing things on the Android tower, like build giant, ugly freight lifts onto the side to raise stuff up from the ground that's slightly bigger than the freight lifts in the Apple building.

Anyway, personally I don't really like either, from an end-user perspective. I must have a physical keyboard, and Apple is dead-set against providing one. But having used Android for a couple of years, and worked with the underlying system, I am disgusted by the design they've chosen ... and I'm happy to be developing iOS apps rather than Android apps.

That's all. ^.^

~Fox
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Just because someone asserts that iOS is "behind" Android doesn't make it so. It's a common, but fallacious, argument.

Android is a train wreck. It's not a train wreck because of Linux or openness -- Linux, and most open-source software in general, is high-quality and receives sufficient peer review to maintain a solid core -- but instead because it's poorly conceived and poorly implemented under the hood. It's as cobbled together and poorly integrated as the devices that run it. Poor UI choices, rudimentary integration and message passing, no internal consistency and the only way to speed it up is to throw more raw power at it. (WebOS is a much better example of a linux-based phone OS implementation, albeit rudimentary; the hardware that it shipped on was terrible and it failed in the market.)

iOS, on the other hand, is actually relatively clean. It has a consistent and solid API layer and, while I don't necessarily like some of the design choices Apple made in that regard, it has the ability to grow at whatever rate Apple chooses.

iOS is like a building with a solid, wide foundation. Plumbing and electricity is integrated into the structural members, and the wetwalls are designated. There are empty conduits run for future expansion, but the whole thing is only a couple of stories tall. Android, by contrast, is a hundred story tower built on sticks and bricks and human backs, extending and swaying up into the sky, with a bunch of people standing atop gloating about how much higher they are than the Apple building. Extension cords are linked together to reach the top tiers, and people just walk to the side to use the bathroom.

But they're taller! All those idiots over there waiting in line to enter the Crapple building clearly have been blinded to the inherent superiority of Android. They can do amazing things on the Android tower, like build giant, ugly freight lifts onto the side to raise stuff up from the ground that's slightly bigger than the freight lifts in the Apple building.

Anyway, personally I don't really like either, from an end-user perspective. I must have a physical keyboard, and Apple is dead-set against providing one. But having used Android for a couple of years, and worked with the underlying system, I am disgusted by the design they've chosen ... and I'm happy to be developing iOS apps rather than Android apps.

That's all. ^.^

~Fox
Your whole argument is invalid simply because you haven't and will never see the iOS source code. You don't have any idea how it's built under the hood and Apple is the undisputed king of putting a shiny face on a mediocre system.

I like developing for Android, there are funny bits and things that could be improved, but by and large it's quite painless. It doesn't need more power to run faster, Jelly Bean has huge speed improvements with no hardware changes.

Whatever, both systems are fine for most things. My point was that with Android, an airline, or anyone else, can modify the source code of the OS itself to accomplish things that you could simply never do with iOS no matter how many things you side load onto it.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
 

PositionAndHold

Well-Known Member
Your whole argument is invalid simply because you haven't and will never see the iOS source code. You don't have any idea how it's built under the hood and Apple is the undisputed king of putting a shiny face on a mediocre system.

I like developing for Android, there are funny bits and things that could be improved, but by and large it's quite painless. It doesn't need more power to run faster, Jelly Bean has huge speed improvements with no hardware changes.

Whatever, both systems are fine for most things. My point was that with Android, an airline, or anyone else, can modify the source code of the OS itself to accomplish things that you could simply never do with iOS no matter how many things you side load onto it.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
I can't think of any reason a third party would need a source code when it comes to executing app design. The app itself an airline or third party designs becomes their own source code. They can make it execute what ever they need to acomplish a specific task. You don't need to know what's under the hood when they give you the development tools needed to design your own app. If I want to build a flight log/efb/expense app I simply pay my hundred dollars download Xcode and get to work. There are over 700,000 iOS apps. They've made millionaires out of guys in basements all over the countr, I think they're doing something right.

Oh, and I love arguing about this for some reason. :)

Edit to add: As much as loooove my iPad, I am hoping for a smaller version. Even in a Lear cockpit the iPad is pretty big (pretty much any thing is in a Lear). If they come out with an iPad mini, that will be the perfect aviation tool. All of the ease of use and app support but sized about as big as Jepp chart, that's all you'll need.
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
I can't think of any reason a third party would need a source code when it comes to executing app design. The app itself an airline or third party designs becomes their own source code. They can make it execute what ever they need to acomplish a specific task. You don't need to know what's under the hood when they give you the development tools needed to design your own app. If I want to build a flight log/efb/expense app I simply pay my hundred dollars download Xcode and get to work. There are over 700,000 iOS apps. They've made millionaires out of guys in basements all over the countr, I think they're doing something right.

Oh, and I love arguing about this for some reason. :)

Edit to add: As much as loooove my iPad, I am hoping for a smaller version. Even in a Lear cockpit the iPad is pretty big (pretty much any thing is in a Lear). If they come out with an iPad mini, that will be the perfect aviation tool. All of the ease of use and app support but sized about as big as Jepp chart, that's all you'll need.
You're simply not thinking creatively. Source modification is the corporate wet dream, it would allow them to completely customize the unit to their needs. They could hardwire the unit into the vehicle's power and have system services turn on and off based on power situations or nav status. They could disallow any other apps, remove the browser or email programs. Push system updates from the mothership. There are many things that could be done that can't be done with an app even on Android.

Number of apps is irrelevant, and it's just as easy to develop for Android (and cheaper too). The people who have become millionaires are the minority, most developers make little money on their apps and only do it because they like it. Nothing wrong with that by the way. I used to sell an app, and made a bit of money, but currently my only active app is free and no ads, because I like it that way.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus that ate your iPhone.
 
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