Not a month goes by without a new announcement about the growing adoption of the iPad on airplanes. The only tablet to date to be approved by the FAA, the iPad has already conquered nearly half of all American private pilots!
This phenomenal success can be explained by the possibility of having a large-screen mapping GPS and a multitude of dedicated applications in a single autonomous and portable device, with disconcerting ease of use. The iPad is a valuable aid for both flight preparation and flight management. And it's an ease of use that shouldn't overshadow security requirements. It's up to each individual to decide how much space he or she wants to give to the device on board, depending on his or her flying habits.
There are many flight preparation applications.
Some are very specialized, such as Flyby E6B, which is designed to facilitate weight, balance or fuel calculations. Others, such as Mach7 or Air Navigation Pro, support almost everything: route maps, approach and landing charts, aerodrome plans, messages to aircrew, logbook and flight plan...
Another example is the French app Airmate, which appeared in 2016 and offers free access to IFR and VFR charts from 120 countries, an Auto-Route function, connection to flight simulators etc. Finally, perhaps the most original, is Xavion, an application that continuously calculates gliding routes in case of engine failure and can take into account wake turbulence from other aircraft (with ADS-B receiver).
The pilot's first concern remains to know precisely the flight conditions he will encounter. Thanks to the iPad, it is possible to have all the weather information necessary to fly safely. Indeed, there are many weather apps that provide instantaneous information on wind components, visibility, cloud cover, cloud ceiling, lightning impact zones, etc...
Make sure that you load all the charts you need to conduct the flight into your iPad, whether VFR or IFR charts, aerodrome charts or approach charts. But you can also load all the technical documentation, even notes or copies of web pages that you can easily find on the iBooks application, for example.
In addition to the practicality of tablet reading, this can offer a significant weight saving.
The iPad can also be used as a logbook, with detailed statistics. Recording GPS traces, it will display its flights and share them with loved ones.
The iPad can also be helpful for taking pictures or videos during flight.
Even though Android tablets and applications are becoming increasingly popular, the iPad seems to be a must in the aeronautics industry for the moment.
As far as screen size is concerned, since space in the cockpit is limited, we'll be focusing more on the iPad Mini, which will be less likely to hide instruments or part of the windshield.
The iPad will be placed on a swivel mount. We offer various articulated suction cup systems adapted to impact-resistant hulls, including these packs. It is also possible to attach the iPad to the thigh.
If you have purchased for a wifi iPad and therefore do not have a GPS, you will need an external GPS. These models have proven themselves with many pilots.
The 10-hour battery life should be enough for most flights, but it's wise to have a cigarette lighter-type charging device or a permanent plug.