The iPad 2 as an electronic flight bag

If you already own or are thinking of owning an iPad 2 as an electronic flight bag, a lengthy post by John Ewing for his Aviation Mentor blog is a must read as he gave his initial impression of using the device in flight. John began his post by noting that between aircraft maintenance and the weather, getting into the air with the new iPad has been a problem but he finally managed to do so for a 1.9 hour flight.

So far, John can give the following impressions of the iPad 2 as an electronic fight bag:

  • It has a slightly smaller size and thinner profile – making it much lighter than the original iPad.
  • There are two built-in cameras, one that is front-facing and one that is rear-facing. However, John also noted that the rear camera “sucks” and he is not even sure why Apple bothered to have one at all.
  • When loading a terminal procedure from ForeFlight, Jeppesen’s app or SkyCharts Pro, the faster graphics performance will be evident. Also, downloading and scrolling around on charts is much faster as well.
  • The screen is not much different from the original iPad (however, there is a wider range of brightness offered) while battery life is on par with the original model as well – about 10 hours.
  • The GNS 5870 Bluetooth GPS Receiver will work just as well with the iPad2 as it does with the original iPad. However, John has one complaint about the touchiness of the swipe-style on/off switch as he noted that its too easy to inadvertently turn the thing on when stowing it in your flight bag.
  • The accelerometer, gyroscope and compass features all seem to still indicate that there is not yet an app that is capable of providing accurate Attitude Heading and Reference (AHARs) features. Hence, the notion of using an iPad in flight as a back-up attitude indicator is still far from reality.

John ended his post by recommending a list of nearly twenty aviation applications that he has already tried out on his iPad 2 and are well worth taking a closer look at if you already have your own iPad 2 as an electronic flight bag. 

iPad 2


2 Responses to The iPad 2 as an electronic flight bag

  1. David Plange December 5, 2011 at 16:45 #

    Whilst foreflight is a really neat programme and it is possible to get geo-referencing with the ipad, its not really of much use outside of the US? I am looking forward to seeing how it develops. As always, the US seems to sample the benefits first.

    I also look forward to the day when we are fortunate enough to get an XM weather counterpart with reasonable subscription charges.

  2. Tim Uszuko July 4, 2012 at 22:36 #

    Try the new app pockethorizon… is the best app out there for a backup attitude indicator.

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