Saturday, December 1, 2007
Buyer’s Guide: The Active Pilot’s Flight Bag
Consider one of these exciting new products
|Flight bags have certainly changed over the years, but what has changed most is what today’s pilots consider “must have.” My first flight bag was a military flying suit with pockets everywhere, each stuffed with some necessity. |
Electronic Flight Bags
ADR FG-1610 EFB: This unit is available either as a standard Fujitsu laptop or as a Fujitsu Tablet edition. Both versions can input any type of aviation software that’s compatible with Windows XP or Vista. They’re both equipped with touch screens, AC adapter and on-board battery. The units have 512 MB RAM (with a max of 1 GB) and come with a 30 GB hard drive (with options to 60 GB). Both are integrated with wireless capabilities. There’s an automatic three-year warranty. The tablet version has a slipcase for protection, six pens and a USB CD-ROM drive. Suggested Retail Price: $1,800–$2,200. Contact: Advanced Data Research, (248) 299-5300, www.adrsoft.com.
AirGator NAVPad 10.4-inch: This custom-configured tablet computer is light, superbright and small enough for any cockpit. The main feature is a brilliant 10.4-inch TFT Active Matrix LCD with 1024 x 768 XGA resolution. It has card slots, USB ports and a VGA port. The AMD Geode processor allows for instant-on and extended battery life. The audio portion has a 16-bit processor with stereo, headset jack, built-in speakers and microphone. The unit is 802.11 wireless LAN/WAN capable and can share info with desktop computers. The tablet is preloaded with ICA and RDP terminal clients and terminal-emulation software. The touch-screen display has soft keyboard support. Suggested Retail Price: $5,525. Contact: AirGator Inc., (914) 666-5656, www.airgator.com.
Anywhere Map Version 1.9: Control Vision was the pioneer in bringing electronic navigation via PDA or iPod into the cockpit. This company’s software has won many awards over the years; Version 1.9 has some exciting features such as flight-plan loading, which has been modified so you can now save extra-long flight plans and distant VORs and fixes. Holding fixes now remain on the screen when needed, and the METAR display has been enhanced to detect fractional visibility. The XM weather display has been improved and is much clearer, plus it has a faster refresh rate. Suggested Retail Price: $695–$1,595. Contact: Control Vision, (800) 292-1160, www.anywheremap.com.
FlightPrep Motion LS800 Tablet PC: Selected by Aviation Consumer Magazine as a top pick in its 2006 “EFB Hardware Round Up,” this unit by Stenbock & Everson measures 8.94 x 6.69 x 0.87 inches and weighs just 2.2 pounds. It has 1 GB RAM for a 40 GB hard drive and an optional SSD drive available. A pen-only input allows a precise user interface. The EFB is offered in a variety of packages, including the Gold Package with a BT-338 Bluetooth GPS Receiver, and the Platinum Package with WX Worx Bluetooth and USB XM Weather Receiver. Suggested Retail Price: $2,650–$5,150. Contact: Stenbock & Everson, (503) 678-4360, www.flightprep.com.