iPad good for pilots?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sushi, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #1
    Interesting article.

    The iPad will be great for vertical market apps like this.
     
  2. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #2
    :D I see what you did there.
     
  3. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #3
    Someone should tell that guy that the iPod nano does have a built in FM radio.


    Maybe he could have dedicated more of the article to aviation-related uses.....


    Oh, and what do you think about iPad for aviation purposes, dmr727?
     
  4. vini-vidi-vici macrumors 6502

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    #4
    more...

    pre-flight checklists... technical manuals of small planes...
     
  5. sushi thread starter Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    Not a big deal.

    Oh he did, and the pics as well, that is, if you know what to look/read for. :)

    Curious to see what dmr727 thinks.

    Of course some others of us are pilots too. :)
     
  6. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #6
    True, but also not factual.

    Yes, I saw the pics, but around 80% or so of the article is about general iPad rah-rah stuff, and only around 20% is about potential iPad uses in aviation. Although not a pilot, I would have been interested in learning more....

    Sorry..... I don't know what everyone here does for a living (or as a hobby).

    :)
     
  7. Lobaeux macrumors newbie

    Lobaeux

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    #7
    I for one will be buying an iPad. It could be key for pilots and may usher in a true paper-less cockpit.
    I carry a whole bag full of approach plates, VFR and IFR Sups, regs, FAR/AIM, tech manuals and such. Having everything on an iPad would be huge.
     
  8. noslenam macrumors member

    noslenam

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    #8
    I am a full time flight instructor and fir me the iPad is a sure thing. Foreflight mobile 3 will be a fantastic app on the ipad. Great way to review weather, file flight plans, inflight charts and approach plates. Also great around the office with the wifi. Not to mention Logten mobile logbook.

    Heck we even have inflight movies at our fingertips. :)
    or I should say my son will.

    Should fit well in my headset bag!
     
  9. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    #9
    Will it really replace a lot of it though? Presumably you still need to take that as well as the iPad. Otherwise what happens if it fails in flight?
     
  10. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    #10
    Because of the regulations etc you will still have to stick to your paper versions of documents. iPad will not replace them.
     
  11. MadGoat macrumors 65816

    MadGoat

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    #11
    That, and the acceptance of Apple products in such an environment wouldn't happen, they'd sooner go with a windows based buggy device.
     
  12. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #12
    The iPad uses assisted GPS, meaning that it requires radio communication with a ground-based assistance server. Note, therefore that unless/until the FAA begins allowing cellphone use on commercial airliners, iPad-based GPS won't work because a) cellphone use in flight isn't allowed and b)the iPad (like the iPhone) GPS won't work in "airplane mode" since its 3G function is turned off.

    Cellphone use isn't restricted on private "general aviation" flights, so in your Cessna 172, the GPS function might work fine, but also note that cell phone tower antennas don't radiate vertically. That means above a certain altitude, cellphones (presumably including the iPad's A-GPS which requires a 3G connection) won't work. Functionality varies somewhat depending on the tower density in a given geographic area, but connectivity is generally very spotty at 2000 feet above-ground, and universally gone at 8000 feet AGL. Bottom line, GPS on the iPad isn't likely to be a useful feature in aviation.

    Don't get me wrong...for paperwork, flight planning, charts (as a convenient supplement to the required paper charts) I agree the iPad could be a very useful tool. I'm sure there is or will be "an app for that".
     
  13. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    #13
    Wrong. Assisted GPS means it uses WiFi and cell towers to help the GPS find its location quicker, but the GPS still works by itself. Same as the iPhone 3G and 3GS.
     
  14. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Yeh, I guess that may be right. When you set the iPhone to "airplane" mode as required for a commercial flight so it doesn't radiate, it turns GPS off, but that wouldn't be necessary on a private flight.
     
  15. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #15
    Please stop repeating this misconception. Being a veteran poster, you should know better by now:

    WiFi and Cell id locating are NOT REPEAT NOT A-GPS. They're separate methods.

    Hopefully it will, but we don't know this yet for sure.

    As for using the iPad as a flight aid, I'm all for it, even though Windows Tablets work just fine and are available in a more ruggedized form.

    Other computers also have the ability to use an external GPS puck placed in the best spot for reception. (Okay, I mount keep my standalone aviation GPS on the yoke, so I guess the iPad could go there, too.)

    The biggest downside for me would be the lack of multitasking. Sometimes I want to use a different program for a second, and it'd be ridiculous to lose critical navigation / terrain alerts with Apple's single-tasking model.
     
  16. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

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    #16
    Some would just get so engrossed in a game of Peggle that they'd totally blow by their destination in say, Minneapolis and just keep flying. :D
     
  17. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    #17
    He is not posting misinformation. Assisted GPS does use Cell triangulation and maybe Wifi lookup (not sure about that) to speed and in some cases improve the accuracy of the localization process. Standard GPS devices have a long initial localization because they need to determine which satellite(s) are best to use before it can do quick position updates, and this requires getting some initial position estimate via GPS. Assisted GPS uses the relatively fast Cell triangulation to get this initial estimate, which allows it to lookup the optimal GPS satellite more quickly.

    Assisted GPS can also work without the help of cell triangulation, it just takes longer. The iPad's GPS will work exactly like the iPhone's.
     
  18. voidptr macrumors regular

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    #18
    Depends on the regulations you're operating under. Part 91 (non-commercial general aviation) can use this as an electronic flight bag without paper backups just fine.

    I'd rather have this for charts and approach plates on my lap during flight with the paper charts in the bag for backup only. As for GPS, I've already got one of them installed the panel, so I don't care as much about having GPS on it and just plan on getting the wifi model for now.
     
  19. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    #19
    For Part 91, I think it would be very useful addition, even without GPS data. You simply could use it manually to pan preloaded sectionals, appch plates, view AFD info, AOPA aiport handbook, etc.... Right now you can do some of that with an iphone in airplane mode, but it would be much easier to read in flight on a large screen.

    Now, the killer app would be a connection to provide power and gps position data from an panel installed GPS. (I bet that some experimental homebuliders already have created something like this.) Then any GPS programs would work just as well or better than an installed large screen MFD, at a fraction of the cost of certified avionics.

    Should be interesting times in the next year as we see what develops.
     
  20. dogcowdaddy macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I currenntly use an Anywhere Travel Companion, a PDA based aviation moving map which has a built-in GPS, and overlays XM weather via bluetooth. The software is written by a company called Control Motion. On their discussion forums about a month ago they mentioned that they were developing an application for the iPhone. At first I thought it would be fairly useless given the small display on the iPhone, but with the larger display of the iPad I think it could be a great system. Their software has some excellent features (sectional chart display, approach plates, taxi diagrams,virtual ILS to any runway), but is constrained by the slow speed and small display of the PDA. Their database updates are also a fraction of what they are for the Garmin Units. I am hoping for an official announcement at Sun-Fun. Their web site is www.anywheremap.com . I have no affiliation with the company, just a satisfied customer.

    FWIW

    Jim
     
  21. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #21
    Apple started this whole misconception back when they were trying to excuse the lack of GPS in their first iPhone, and acted like WiFi and Cell Id were the same thing.

    A-GPS is only about GPS on the phone itself, and assistance to it. Using other methods in conjunction with GPS makes up a hybrid system, not A-GPS.

    ATT 3G A-GPS consists of getting the latest satellite almanac, orbit and status information from a network. AFAIK (and I'm in their developer program) they don't have any other assistance available to a phone itself. (They do use tower triangulation via U-TDOA for E911, but that's not sent back to the phone.)

    The major initial delay is because the device must download the latest satellite information from the satellites themselves at only 50 bits per second, and that can take ten+ minutes. An assistance server provides that information in a second or two instead.

    This confuses people as well. It is true that A-GPS often sends the current cell id to the assistance server in order to receive a rough estimate of location. However, that has nothing to do with the independent Cell Id or WiFi methods that Google or Skyhook provide on the iPhone, which are there to speed up giving the user a location, not for speeding up the GPS.

    Regards.
     
  22. toddngina macrumors member

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    #22
    I think it will be useful. As a military heavy airlift pilot, I have about 60 pdf documents that make up our electronic trip kit that are very difficult to access. In all it's wisdom, the USAF quit producing paper pubs (supporting regs, not aeronautical info), without an easy way to view them. Pulling out the laptop is a pain and cumbersome; I've tried referencing them on my Sony Reader - very slow and not so good on pdfs with tables/charts/diagrams. iPad should be great for this, looking forward to adding one to my flight bag as soon as its released.
     
  23. sushi thread starter Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #23
    Sounds like a good use for the iPad.
     
  24. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    It is highly unlikely (~0%) that the GPS in 3G would be "legal" for IFR flight... and for lots of good reasons.

    Personally, I am not a fan of "general purpose devices" for use in the cockpit. They do have a place for situational awareness, and they are fine for VFR flight. However, in an IFR situation... things are just too complex to rely on anything except a purpose built device. Unfortunately, they are expensive. There is quite a bit of controversy about this in the flying community... but the vast majority of pilots that I trust, seem to be on the same side of this debate as myself.

    Having said that... I think the tablet is an incredible aid to the pilot. I would be happy to use it as an extra source of pre-flight weather. I would like my aircraft documentation stored on the device. I personally would not use it for checklists. I do have an electronic pre-flight checklist built into my panel, but the last thing you would want is an electronic checklist for use in an emergency.

    /Jim
     
  25. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

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    #25
    Very well said - you've listed most of the points off my head - however - has anyone actually tried to use it in the cockpit - wouldn't it distract you?
     

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