Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Anywhere Map Quadra

A trendsetter in portable navigators

The Quadra has the ability to use any Wi-Fi connection to update its software and databases. You can download Nexrad weather, METARs and TAFs, get the latest temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), and even check e-mail, file flight plans or browse the web at any Wi-Fi spot. All Quadras include a complete airport directory and a fuel price database with 12 months of free updates. No PC is required. To show how little things make a difference, the Quadras include a flight-log feature that uploads to an online logbook. Pilot profiles are stored in the unit.

The simple layout makes finding and changing settings easy. Twelve graphic symbols (six per side) give the pilot everything needed to access all features. Pilots also can choose to turn on sounds and alerts using an external audio jack that can be routed to the airplane’s intercom.

One of the best-conceived features is the Cones of Safety glide prediction system, an idea so unique that Control Vision has a patent on it. Using GPS speed, elevation, wind and preconfigured glide performance data for that airplane (several aircraft profiles can be stored), the Quadra will display what airports you can safely glide to in an emergency using green circles on any of the map displays.

For normal navigation, the pilot selects from six display modes: Sectional, Terrain, Low Enroute, Night, Weather and Emergency. Each mode shows the aircraft and overlays data against a different base display. Terrain mode was my favorite, and shows a 3-D color view of terrain affecting the flight. Terrain appears in high definition because the Quadra displays it in 180-meter resolution—substantially higher than the 270-meter or 1-kilometer resolution used by other units.

Low Enroute mode puts a detailed enroute chart beneath the navigation display, and Weather mode overlays the display with satellite weather information, including Nexrad, surface winds, TAFs and all the products available through XM weather subscriptions. Overlays for all the modes include a very capable, full-featured HSI readout, vertical navigation computing, turn-rate indicator and various configurable alerts and warnings. No need to go to separate pages.

There are so many ways to customize the displays, and so many other features to choose from, that it’s tough to imagine a mission the Quadra couldn’t fulfill. Some of the goodies that come with the Quadra include Taxi Express airport diagrams, victor airways display and the innovative Personal Digital Copilot that allows configuring altitude alarms, flight timers, descent reminders and even esoteric things like spiral dive warnings, oxygen and fuel pump warnings, fuel tank switching reminders and a whole lot more.

Anywhere Map has thought of just about everything and put it into a package that starts at $595 MSRP. Included with any of the Quadra units are two different mounts (for cars and aircraft), a wall and accessory-jack charger, memory card, carrying case, USB cable and everything to get you going immediately. Where I began using the Quadra as a backup to a larger, more expensive GPS, I’ve found that I now use it as my primary flight display. Never mind that the street navigation also is superb. Quadra has hit a home run here.



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