Ipad in the cockpit

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Jaysmiths

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Apr 2, 2009
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82
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Hurst, TX
Got an email today pimping the new Ipad (wasn't really interested but made the mistake of looking)---first impression was, wow, look at that screen size, then, I looked at the cost ($499 & up). I made my next mistake and looked at the boatload of navigation apps, astounding! Incredible, and alot of those apps are free, several types of GPS, AOPA airport directory, even a freaking FREE efis panel, for all practical purposes. Surely these apps are buggy and unreliable, (you get what you pay for, right?).....wonder how long before somebody tries it in the cockpit?
 

autoreply

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Jul 7, 2009
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Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Got an email today pimping the new Ipad (wasn't really interested but made the mistake of looking)---first impression was, wow, look at that screen size, then, I looked at the cost ($499 & up). I made my next mistake and looked at the boatload of navigation apps, astounding! Incredible, and alot of those apps are free, several types of GPS, AOPA airport directory, even a freaking FREE efis panel, for all practical purposes. Surely these apps are buggy and unreliable, (you get what you pay for, right?).....wonder how long before somebody tries it in the cockpit?
As far as I know Rutan flies his Boomerang for over 15 years with a Apple based laptop PFD/EFIS:
The PowerBook runs a program called RAPMAS programmed by Rutan's son, Jeff. It communicates over RS-232 with a shielded, ruggedized data- acquisition system controlled by an embedded PC. Displays for such parameters as engine status, control-surface positions, landing gear, altitude, airspeed, fuel level, and--someday--GPS moving-map navigation all appear on the Mac's screen, updated at 3 Hz. "In a year, I can replace [the PowerBook] with one that has twice the capability and a lower cost," says Rutan of his cockpit's flexibility.
 

DarylP

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Mar 22, 2010
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352
Location
CO
Wow....you know I was wondering about that! I will check it out, but I must say that when I first saw the Ipad I immediately thought about using it in a plane somehow. We should all post the programs written for it. :computer:
 

DarylP

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Mar 22, 2010
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CO
I just found out that the Ipad is only good up to 10,000 feet. It makes sense as living in Colorado I know that video cameras with hard disks cannot be used at high altitude either. So if you fly high (High altitude not the other thing ;) ) the Ipad may not be such a good deal.
 

autoreply

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I just found out that the Ipad is only good up to 10,000 feet. It makes sense as living in Colorado I know that video cameras with hard disks cannot be used at high altitude either. So if you fly high (High altitude not the other thing ;) ) the Ipad may not be such a good deal.
They can for sure. The problem is the lubrication of the diskheads, the seakerhead runs directly over the magnetic disk on a small cushion of air. At higher altitudes this cushion gets thinner and they will wear out much faster. I've ran several HDD's up to 4500 m (FL150) without any problems though.
 

addaon

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Feb 24, 2008
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San Jose, CA
The iPad uses solid state storage; I'd be more than willing to use mine at any altitude I was still functional at. Of course, you have all the standard problems with taking silicon to high altitude, like higher rates of soft error; but at our altitudes, it shouldn't be a big concern.
 

Jman

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Pacific NW, USA!
Yes! I have the iPod Touch and love it. When I saw the iPad I instantly envisioned it clicked into a homebuilt panel for VFR type moving maps. I'm told by another pilot buddy, who has one on order right now, that the 3G version has a built in GPS. The non 3G version does not. I have not verified that.

I've seen plug-in GPS modules for the iPod Touch and planned on getting one. I'm sure one will be available for the iPad if you don't have the 3G version. I wonder if with the 3G version it would be possible to get in-cockpit weather? I can see many interesting possibilities.
 

addaon

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That is correct, the 3G version has AGPS, the non-3G version has only wifi-based location services. Both can support (in theory) an external GPS.
 

Inverted Vantage

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Jun 19, 2008
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Don't get the iPad, it's essentially a bigger iPhone, minus a camera. There are some other touch screen computers coming down the pipe; wait for those. They promise to be actually useful (such as having a USB port, webcams, and allowing you to actually view flash on the web).
 

bmcj

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Fresno, California
Don't get the iPad, it's essentially a bigger iPhone, minus a camera. There are some other touch screen computers coming down the pipe; wait for those. They promise to be actually useful (such as having a USB port, webcams, and allowing you to actually view flash on the web).
If the iPad is short a couple features as you mentioned, they might be added later (not sure about Flash software... that might be a licensing issue). I don't want a 5x7 camera... to awkward! As for the iPad's usefulness, that is a matter of software written for it. I know my iPhone has a lot of good utilitarian software, so too will the iPad I suspect. As for it's use in the cockpit, I think it may be well suited and I look forward to software releases for that purpose. Altitude limits may not be as critical on this since (to my knowledge) the devic is solid state (no hard drive).

As far as being able to use the iPad or any other brands of phone based devices in plane while relying on a cellular, I have my doubts. We have tried many cell phones and auto GPS devices in aircraft and have hade less than stellar results without adding an external antenna.

Bruce :)
 

djschwartz

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Jun 21, 2008
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982
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Portland, Oregon
We have tried many cell phones and auto GPS devices in aircraft and have hade less than stellar results without adding an external antenna.

Bruce :)
By the nature of the way they work cellular phone networks get confused by a phone operating at altitude where their signals are seen by too many base stations. There is also a limit to how fast the phone can be moving relative to the base station. Attempting to operate a phone under these conditions will result in erratic behavior. In some cases a better antenna helps, in others it could actually make the situation worse. FWIW, I design cellular network equipment for a living and have served on the standards committees designing the networks.
 

DarylP

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Mar 22, 2010
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CO
Yeah, whether it is a Garmin, or an Ipad, we should always have the trusty basics to some extent. Nothing like a compass and charts to get back to basics. :ermm:
 

joshmedic

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Mar 12, 2011
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Frankfort, Maine
They can for sure. The problem is the lubrication of the diskheads, the seakerhead runs directly over the magnetic disk on a small cushion of air. At higher altitudes this cushion gets thinner and they will wear out much faster. I've ran several HDD's up to 4500 m (FL150) without any problems though.
Boyles Law....that cushion would get bigger, no ? Gas expands at altitude.....
 

joshmedic

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Mar 12, 2011
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Frankfort, Maine
By the nature of the way they work cellular phone networks get confused by a phone operating at altitude where their signals are seen by too many base stations. There is also a limit to how fast the phone can be moving relative to the base station. Attempting to operate a phone under these conditions will result in erratic behavior. In some cases a better antenna helps, in others it could actually make the situation worse. FWIW, I design cellular network equipment for a living and have served on the standards committees designing the networks.
To the best of my knowledge, the FSDO where they made the 'Icub' would only go for it if it were in airplane mode, aka no cell signal. From what I understand, it uses legitimate GPS.
 

Lucrum

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Jun 10, 2008
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956
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Canton, GA
I got one yesterday, a 3G capable first generation model, for our BE40. I'm going to use it to replace our NOS subscription for a savings of roughly $700 a year.
 

JMillar

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Jan 17, 2007
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233
Location
Antigonish, NS, Canada
Boyles Law....that cushion would get bigger, no ? Gas expands at altitude.....
The issue is that the head actually "flies" on the boundary air that gets dragged along with the platter. At higher altitudes the reduced density offers insufficient lift, and causes head crashes. EFBs i understand require either pressurized / sealed disc enclosures or SSDs.

Edit: it's worth noting that the iPad indeed uses flash memory, so the issue is not relevant to it.
 

Voyeurger

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Oct 9, 2010
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612
Location
Northern Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Here you go gents. Wireless Bluetooth for IPad.I just got one of these. It's about the size of a credit card, weighs 2.9oz. and the built in battery lasts 10 hours per charge and includes a cigarette lighter charger plug. Stick it anywhere near a window with a square inch of velcro and it recognizes your IPad. NO WIRES. Uses (I believe 12) several satellites. Signal acquisition depends in large part on your app, but with ForeFlight it updates every minute. Updates include ATIS and moving maps and I have barely scratched the surface.
I believe the new IPad II is actually 4G and already has the satellite receiver built in. The one I got for Christmas is 3G. This little $129.00 gizmo is sweet.
iPad GPS with Bluetooth - Sporty's Pilot Shop
 
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