In just two and a half years, Apple has sold more than 100 million iPad tablet computers. Airline and business jet pilots were early adopters of iPad technology, which offers powerful electronic flight bag (EFB) applications that help with preflight preparation, inflight navigation and display of charts and flight manuals.
ARINC anticipates its Connect Communications System (CCS), designed to give current generation capabilities to aircraft equipped with legacy Satcom systems, will be popular in the Middle East. Here the business aviation fleet “is quite dominated by larger aircraft, some former airliners with existing satellite infrastructure that might be relatively old,” said James Hardie, the company’s director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Apple unveiled the iPad mini on October 23, and developers of aviation apps are already showing how well their products play on the new device.
Blue Sky Network recently launched its new SkyRouter iOS and Android mobile applications that can provide real-time aircraft fleet tracking on the go. SkyRouter is a cloud-based solution that can track a company’s aircraft that are equipped with Blue Sky Network’s Iridium tracking and communication services. Features of the New SkyRouter mobile apps include GPS location, fleet asset lists, breadcrumb mapping, active asset indication, automated event reports and drill-down on asset events.
Business jet passengers want to experience a seamless transition between their high-tech home entertainment systems and the inflight entertainment (IFE) systems installed on the jets that they fly, but there is an impediment that needs fixing; how to bring the content on their home systems to the aircraft. Rockwell Collins has developed a solution, Skybox, which brings sophisticated airliner audio-video on-demand (AVOD) to business jets.
Three popular Apple iPad applications were central to the first of several education sessions dedicated to the iPad-based electronic flight bag (EFB) at NBAA’12. Speakers featuring Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, ForeFlight Mobile and WingX Pro 7 all had their time at the podium offering information on how the products can enhance flight safety and efficiency across the business aviation fleet.
Execjet Mobile, of Scottsdale, Ariz. (Booth No. 706), is enticing NBAA’12 attendees to its exhibit by offering an iPad Mini giveaway if they’ll stay to hear about the company’s new communication platform, Bizjet Mobile. The product uses an existing onboard smartphone, iPad or Android device’s Bluetooth plus Iridium technology to send and receive emails and text messages worldwide.
ATP is offering the HubConnect document management app and mobile service for the iPad. The app and the mobile service combine ATP’s single-source aircraft aviation document databases with the iPad’s portability. Using the HubConnect app and the HubConnect mobile service, subscribers have instant mobile access to ATP’s library of maintenance publications, regulatory documents and pilot operating handbooks.
The popular ForeFlight iPad moving-map application and X-Plane personal computer-based simulator now can be integrated to display X-Plane’s simulated aircraft position on the app’s moving map. This is a significant improvement that allows pilots to practice using the ForeFlight app while flying X-Plane, instead of trying to learn how to use the app in the air when they should be looking outside.
An iPad app version of Cessna’s Citation Performance Calculator (CPCalc) is now available at the iTunes Store. The app is available for all current-production Citations, as well as many out-of-production Citations. CPCalc calculates takeoff and landing data and also helps determine engine-out performance. A PC version of the program is FAA approved, and Cessna is in the process of obtaining similar approval for the CPCalc iPad app.