What are pilots saying about the latest aircraft accessories? Our flight accessory and electronics reviews shed light on some of the latest electronics for pilots.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So comfortable and quiet, you’ll want to experience it beyond the airplane
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Flight Guide Online
So much for so little
Friday, February 1, 2008
Zaon PCAS XRX
Portable collision avoidance with direction
Friday, December 1, 2006
Mercury Computer Systems VistaNav
Glass-panel functionality comes in a portable package
If you’re like me—a pilot who mainly flies airplanes with “steam gauge” instruments that look increasingly out of date—you probably salivate over the glass flight decks that are common in new airplanes. Even the latest (smallest) singles from Cessna and Piper have them. And while it’s possible to retrofit similar hardware in older airplanes, for most of us, the cost (in the high tens of thousands of dollars) is prohibitive.
Monday, May 1, 2006
IFR flight planning, electronic charts and moving map all in one package
In the fall of 2004, I closed a review of Jeppesen’s JeppView/FliteDeck 3 with a complaint about the lack of serious flight-planning functions in Jeppesen’s flagship electronic charting products. A Jeppesen representative responded: “At some point, we hope to offer a single solution.” He must have been serious because that single solution now exists.
Saturday, April 1, 2006
Mid-Continent Instruments’ Lifesaver attitude indicator with built-in battery backup
Every pilot knows “Hoover’s Law”: It’s not a question of if your vacuum system will fail, but when your vacuum system will fail. To eliminate the vacuum problem, many owners have opted to go with an electric primary or standby gyro. Great idea—until the power goes out. Then what? Well, thanks to Mid-Continent Instruments, pilots who install its new 4300 series Lifesaver electric attitude indicator with built-in battery backup can keep flying for up to an hour.
Sunday, January 1, 2006
Garmin GPSMAP 396
The wunderbox that brings satellite uplink weather and radio capabilities to the cockpit
Fourteen years ago, when I met Tim Casey of Garmin International, we were at the Paris Air Show, and Carl Pascarell and I had just ferried the prototype Sino Swearingen SJ30 jet across the Atlantic to Le Bourget Airport with little more than point-and-shoot VHF radios. Like most prototypes, the first SJ30 was having its share of systems problems, and electrical glitches had burned up both of our VLF/Omegas on the eastbound crossing. By definition, we were flying IFR above 35,000 feet and needed a method of positively identifying our position for the trip back to San Antonio, Texas.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
AvMap/Navigation’s EKP-IV GPS
A portable, WAAS-enabled solution with a mighty big screen
AvMap’s EKP-IV—which is an enhanced version of its predecessor, called the EKP-IIIC—can most likely best be described as the Rolls-Royce of portable GPS units for in-cockpit use. It’s bigger than your average handheld, standing at 4.75x7x1.5 inches, and it’s a bit pricey—but both the money and size buy a couple of other things that usually aren’t available in any other portable GPS units of which I’m quite aware, perhaps because the company has seriously taken into account its customer’s suggestions and comments.
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Garmin GPSmap 296
Terrain comes to portable GPS
Thursday, April 1, 2004
SureCheck TrafficScope VRX
Portable collision avoidance