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Ipad in the cockpit?

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Jay Smith
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#1 Posted: 4/3/2010 12:31:27

 Got an email today pimping the new Ipad (wasn't really interested but made the mistake of looking)---first impression was, wow, look at that screen size, then, I looked at the cost ($499 & up). I made my next mistake and looked at the boatload of navigation apps, astounding! Incredible, and alot of those apps are free, several types of GPS, AOPA airport directory, even a  FREE efis panel, for all practical purposes. Surely these apps are buggy and unreliable, (you get what you pay for, right?).....wonder how long before somebody tries it in the cockpit?

 

There is a wi-fi only model and a wi-fi plus G3 model.  Would using a gps app on this (essentially like using an iPhone weather or gps app) over a G3 network be the same as using a cellphone while in flight, risking a bust by the FCC?

 

If somebody tries this, please report back and let us know how it worked!



Timothy O'Connor
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#2 Posted: 4/7/2010 11:31:40

I use several iTouch apps.

As far as the FAA goes...

If your aircraft is Experimental there is no issue with using a cell devise in flight  so long as it is 3G or one of the newer systems. .Just make sure it causes no interference. 

However, you might have a problem with the FCC.

Because of the FCC rule you can use a cell devise in your aircraft but ONLY ON THE GROUND.


Since 1991, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned the inflight use of 800 MHz cell phones because of potential interference with ground networks. This ban requires that in addition to the testing the FAA requires to show non-interference to the airplane systems, an airline would also need to apply for an exemption to the FCC rule before it could allow cell phone use inflight. The FCC proposed modifying this ban in 2004, but subsequently withdrew the proposal based on the comments it received.

.Info here:


http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/b5c85ae8e38df676862571da00529da4/$FILE/AC%2091.21-1B.pdf

..



"Rotors, the only way to FLY" Commercial Rotorcraft Pilot, CFI, AGI, SP-FW
Timothy O'Connor
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#3 Posted: 4/7/2010 11:35:10

What would be a save for this, if you could put the iPad in "airplane mode" with the cell transmitter OFF but still use the GPS.


That would be the ticket


biggrin


.



"Rotors, the only way to FLY" Commercial Rotorcraft Pilot, CFI, AGI, SP-FW
Jay Smith
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#4 Posted: 4/7/2010 13:04:08

So if I use my iPhone to access an internet browser and look at wx radar while at 5500 AGL I'm in violation of the FCC reg?



John Eiswirth
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#5 Posted: 4/7/2010 23:12:49

Cell phones don't have much power therefore a tower network is needed to provide service to cell phones on the ground.  When you use them in the air, even with the low power, they can raise many cell towers at the same time and gum up the works.  Satelite phones are more expensive but would solve the network problem.  I don't know if they make satelite system iPhones.



Hal Bryan
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#6 Posted: 4/8/2010 08:39:54
Jay Smith wrote:

 

So if I use my iPhone to access an internet browser and look at wx radar while at 5500 AGL I'm in violation of the FCC reg?

 

Jay - in a word, yes.



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Jay Smith
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#7 Posted: 4/8/2010 19:51:11

Thanks, Hal.  I suspected as much.



Bill Jacobs
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#8 Posted: 4/9/2010 09:05:15

I've used a tablet and an iPhone for a while in the cockpit.  I don't find the cellular networks very useful in flight.

 

I far prefer my tablet computer with OziExplorer for sectionals, plus GoodReader for pdf based materials - approach plates mostly. I use GoodReader on both the tablet and the iPhone, but loading the files is a pain in the butt because of Apple's restrictions.

 

I get my plates from pdfplates.com - free site, run on donations only.  Hope they can continue, though they'll have to convert to a fee service at some point.  I get sectionals and IFR enroutes from NOAA directly for a buck or so each.

 

I'd love to have a iPAD, but will await the ineveitable arrival of viewers / GPS moving maps that permit easily preloading and "page sized" tiled images - as I've not found a good way to view sectional-sized images on the iPhone due to processor limitations when manipulating such large jpgs.

 

There are some public domain "tiling" solutions out there, but none are "easy" yet.  And this is a requirement to easily load sectiona- I use GoodReader on my iPHone and even though I'm a software / computers / network professional, the content loading is a pain and doesn't need to be (hear that Apple?  - disclosure: I used to work for Apple).

 

Bill



Shannon Adams
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#9 Posted: 4/10/2010 00:10:03

Check out the ForeFlight Mobile app that has been enhanced for the iPad.

http://www.foreflight.com/mobileiPad.php

To me this is the ideal in/out of cockpit tool.

FYI - I have no connection with ForeFlight, just like there app.  And yes, I want an iPad, once I'm flying again.



Dan DeVillers
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#10 Posted: 4/12/2010 18:10:53

Is there a GPS for the iPad? I don't think so?



DanD Blueskies
Hal Bryan
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#11 Posted: 4/13/2010 17:11:33
Dan DeVillers wrote:

 

Is there a GPS for the iPad? I don't think so?

 

It appears that the 3G version of the iPad has a GPS, but the wi-fi version does not. The 3G version has an A-GPS (Assisted GPS which uses cell signals to enhance location data) which has resulted in a lot of confusion about whether or not the GPS can be used without the cellular radio being turned on.

If it can't, then, according to the letter of the law (FCC regs) the iPad could only be used for non-GPS applications when flying ...

None of the tech sources I've come across can say with certainty whether or not the GPS functions with the cellular radio off - anyone out there have a 3G iPad that can put this to bed once and for all?



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Matthew Long
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#12 Posted: 4/15/2010 13:28:59

Since even the basic, Wi-Fi-only iPad has Bluetooth, there are Bluetooth GPS receivers you can get for under $100 to solve this problem if necessary.  That cost is less than the difference to get the more expensive Wi-Fi and 3G model.  While I think the FAA would say that Bluetooth is transmitting and therefore a no-no, the reality is that there must be thousans of laptops with active Bluetooth in the air at any given time, and it doesn't yet seem to have been an issue.  Just a thought...



******* Matthew Long www.cluttonfred.info
Hal Bryan
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#13 Posted: 4/29/2010 13:40:19

Speaking of iPads and iPhones in the cockpit, here's a photo that allegedly shows what an iPhone looks like after pulling 9Gs in an F-16. (My theory is that the screen is actually just repulsed by that carpet ...)

9 G's maneuvering  ;-) by xnir.



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Vernon Lucas
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#14 Posted: 5/1/2010 08:56:57


P1010186.JPG
Guys, I had an opportunity to speak with the folks at Flight Guide during Sun & Fun. They have several applications for the new I-PAD which should come on line this month. If you go to https://www.flightguide.com/flight_guide_iefb.html , you will find their info. Sounds interesting, especially if the A-GPS will work without the 3G network card. I don't intend to have stand alone card just for the I-PAD. Flight Guide demonstrated the unit in bright sunlight and while washed out a bit, it was readable, especially the approach plates. I'm currently using Seattle Avionic's software in a Motion Computing LS800 with 'Anywhere Display' ( See picture). The system uses a bluetooth (2.4 GH) connection with a GlobalSat BT-338 GPS unit. Works well and I've found NO interference with any other radio/nav/GPS already installed in my RV-6. I hope the Apple I-PAD's A-GPS will work without a 3G card. If not perhaps Flight Guide could modify the applications to utilize the I-PAD's Bluetooth and the GlobalSat BT-338 or similar. Vern Lucas



Rick Pellicciotti
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#15 Posted: 6/30/2010 13:51:44

This new LSA airplane comes with an iPad mounted in the panel.  Seems to have lots of apps too.

http://www.icub.aero

 



Rick Pellicciotti, Falco N63KC http://www.prowlerjaguar.com
Paul Sanders
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#16 Posted: 6/30/2010 20:53:25

I've been looking at an iPad for the cockpit, especially with the forthcoming WingX Pro from hiltonsoftware.com but I worry about the iPad overheating (I live in the SoCal desert - 110F today!). The iPad has a heat sensor which will automatically switch the iPad off if it decides it is too hot so on a long sunny flight I wonder if it might decide to take a break, not good if it's the primary/only nav device. I've seen a couple of people report this happening in their planes.



Zenith CH 750 Builder, Englishman living in Southern CA.
Marco Crivellari
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#17 Posted: 7/1/2010 21:54:42

"Assisted GPS (Wi-Fi + 3G model)"

That's what Apple says about iPad and GPS on their website.

 It would seem that both models have GPS assistance.



Matthew Long
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#18 Posted: 7/3/2010 06:35:35

I think Apple delineates the two models as the 1) "Wi-Fi" and 2) "Wi-Fi + 3G" so the above reference covers only one model of iPad, the one with both systems of communications.  All models have Bluetooth, however, so one option may  be a standalone GPS receiver that communicates with the iPad that way, such as are sold to provide GPS input to PDAs and smart phones.



******* Matthew Long www.cluttonfred.info
Marco Crivellari
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#19 Posted: 7/7/2010 11:16:51 Modified: 7/7/2010 11:19:38

You are right, I stand corrected! 

Here's what I found at "ZDnet special report":

Apple iPad: Does it have 'real' GPS? (updated: yes and no)

Update: Looking closer at the “Wireless and cellular” category in Apple’s iPad tech specs. “Wi-Fi model” is one configuration and “Wi-Fi + 3G model” is the other. From the Location section it could be interpreted that Assisted GPS is included in the Wi-Fi and 3G models (meaning both) but Apple actually uses the plus-sign in “Wi-Fi + 3G model” to mean the high-end, 3G model). Apple’s marketing took some liberties with the plus-sign. So, to clarify, the 3G model has GPS and the Wi-Fi model doesn’t have GPS.

 



Dan Collins
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#20 Posted: 7/9/2010 06:06:58

I have been an iPad WiFi+3G user for a couple of months now although sadly not yet had the chance to try it in the cockpit.

I can confirm that the GPS seems to work fine without the assisted mode offered by using the cell network. I have used Google Earth, ForeFlight (on the gournd only) and street navigation software and they have all provided accuracy to around 20 feet with non-assisted GPS mode.

I fly mainly IFR and have been searching for an iPad based product which would replace the Jeppesen Navsuite products I use on a Toshiba tablet PC. ForeFlight and WingX seem to be the two closest alternatives and I really like the scratchpad in ForeFlight (only on iPad I think, not iPhone) which you can use for noting down frequencies, altitudes etc as they are assigned by ATC by writing with your finger. This works better then any of the standalone scratchpad apps I have found.

The biggest drawback I have found for both apps is that, unlike Flightstar,  they do not work out routes based on departure and destination airports. The route planning process is a manual only operation. This may be due to the limited processing power compared to a PC and the developers have chosen not to implement it or maybe it's a feature yet to come. Enquireis of both developers have not yeilded an answer yet.

One final (personal) gripe which is common to most aviation apps whether they run on PC or iPhone/iPad is the lack of any European coverage. Most readers of this forum have probably never flown in European airspace but I do regularly and there are as many pilots in Europe as in the US but no-one seems to cater for them!



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