Plane & Pilot
Sunday, May 1, 2005

10+ Most Useful Cockpit Gadgets

A buyer’s guide to the latest must-have gear for aviators

Almost every pilot searches for the right tools to make any flight a safe and enjoyable one. Whether it’s a gizmo that enables us to enjoy that short $100 hamburger flight or a portable piece of equipment that can save us baggage space during long cross-country treks to the backcountry, we’re always in need of that extra-special something that will make our trips a whole lot easier and the ride a whole lot more fun." />

3 THE WRITE STUFF There’s nothing more convenient for a pilot than having an all-weather pen like the Inka pen. It’s a compact, precision-crafted pen with a pressurized ink cartridge that can write at any angle, temperature and altitude. In addition, its stainless-steel cylindrical design is made to last a lifetime.
Price: $30
Contact: Inka Corporation, (877) 446-5226,

4 POWER UP Whether you’re in the air or out in the boondocks, you no longer have to rely on batteries or an electrical power source to run any of your high-tech toys. The SolarRoll is the first flexible, waterproof solar panel that powers all kinds of devices, from digital cameras to satellite phones to notebook PCs. Plus, this UV-transparent power source rolls and stores in a convenient storage tube, so all you have to do is literally pack and go.
Price: $169 to $399
Contact: Brunton, (800) 443-4871,

5 BRIGHT LIGHT Light up your whole cabin with the Lamplight. It serves as a flashlight, or just pull and voilà, it’s a lantern. But what makes this particular flashlight-cum-lantern unique is its 360-degree lighting system that can reach every nook and cranny of even the darkest of cockpits.
Price: $20
Contact: Brunton, (307) 856-6559,

6 SEA AND HEAR The H20 Audio DV Series MP3 player can be called ambidextrous: You can take it with you in the air and underwater. In the air, the durable design protects it from accidental spills and its speakers can fit under headsets. Underwater, its locking closure protects it from leaks and its simplified controls make it easy to play those tunes under the sea.
Price: $199 to $478.95
Contact: Oceanic Worldwide, (510) 562-0500,


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