Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spidertracks Aviator & FleetPro


Portable Satellite Tracking Solutions


There are two versions of Spidertracks available. The newest version, Aviator, works much the same as its predecessor FleetPro, but is half the size for improved portability and convenience. The other difference is that the keypad on the Aviator is integrated into the unit, whereas it’s external on the FleetPro. Both versions require an external power source, usually a cigarette lighter adapter. If you need true portability, a rechargeable battery pack is available from Spidertracks that gives you approximately two days of track monitoring.

Aviator is targeted specifically for GA pilots, and it’s especially applicable if you move between different airplanes that you fly, or maybe even use it on the occasional motorcycle trip. The current FleetPro product might be desirable for a semipermanent installation where you want a strategic placement of the antenna and the keypad with clean routing of the wiring. The FleetPro would be excellent for flight schools or when running an operation where you’re tracking specific airplanes that operate frequently and have many different pilots.

Spidertracks was first released in 2007, and the New Zealand-based company sees general aviation as one of their most important market segments. “We are in the safety business, but we can also make flying a little more fun, too,” says Rachel Donald, Spidertracks General Manager. Their new Aviator website will allow tracks to be viewed in Visual Navigation Charts mode that overlays the track on a sectional chart, features descriptive notes to any track location and incorporates a virtual log book. Spidertracks also will interface with Facebook and Twitter.

The new Spidertracks Aviator is expected to retail for under $1,000. The Spidertracks FleetPro with keypad retails for just under $2,500. A monthly subscription for the Iridium network is $19.95 and a 10-cent-per-position message fee applies. For more information visit www.spidertracks.com.

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