Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20 Great Aviation Apps

Enhance your cockpit with an iPad

Sporty's Plates
There now are a few replacements for the banker's box full of chart books that I packed on my first coast-to-coast trip with my brother. This app has the whole country, and you can print out any of the plates right from iPad. The plates are interactive and have some useful informative features. $49.95/year.

SPOT Connect
The SPOT Connect can transmit regular position information, or mark an emergency location. In the latter mode, it also will notify emergency responders. The app allows a Spot Connect owner to interface with the device over Bluetooth. Once paired, the iPad will display the tracking options for the Connect, including a check-in or call for help. The app is free, but you need a SPOT Connect unit. Available for iPhone only.

Live weather, including Doppler radar, makes this a very useful app. iPad's larger form factor is perfect for viewing the weather, allowing a full display with overlay information. $4.99.

This is an amusing app to pull out your iPhone for in the cockpit. When you dial in the runway and the wind reported on the ATIS, it will tell you the crosswind and headwind components, and warn you if they're over the limits that you've set in the preferences. A great idea. It will even tell you what head-ings to fly for your downwind, crosswind and final to stay lined up in the pattern. Available for iPhone only. Totally worth the dollar.

WingX Pro7
WingX Pro7 is a comprehensive moving map solution that recently added ADS-B in-flight weather.  WingX Pro7 is unique in that it has a split-screen view and can overlay terrain on the VFR sectional and IFR enroute charts.  $.99 for the app and $99.99/year plus chart geo-referencing subscription.

Is your plane grounded for its annual inspection? This app will fill those ground hours with virtual airtime. There are lots of airframes, so fly something you wouldn't have the chance to otherwise. The aerodynamics are top notch, the scenery is very good, and the animation is fluid and flicker-free. You even can set up four iPads as part of the glass panel of a simulated airplane using the related EFIS app. $9.99.


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