Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Apple iPad : Electronic Flight Bag?

In case you missed it yesterday, Apple just announced their long awaited tablet, the iPad.

At first, I was a bit underwhelmed, its just a big iPod touch right? Why pay $499 (at least) for features that are in the smaller, lighter cousins.

Then I stopped looking at it as a iPod, and more like an electronic flight bag.

What features does it have that make it excellent for an EFB?

  • Long battery life (10 hours...although realistically probably five)
  • Huge high resolution, back-lit screen (perfect for maps, IFR approach plates, etc)
  • Loads of quality aviation software (you have to pay per app, but you get to customize the device with only the software you want / need to use)
  • Doubles as an in-flight, or after flight entertainment device for yourself or your pax.
  • Its price range already qualifies it for aviation ;)
All joking aside, if you're trying to decide between a light "netbook" and the iPad, why not take a look at a device that you can take in the cockpit as well? Now since the iPad is brand new, I wouldn't expect to see many of these in cockpits yet, but after a couple of generations of improvement from Apple, I have a feeling that will change.


  1. Your observations are 100% correct - I own and use an iTouch now for purposes of having a "legal" current copy of all plates and charts for the entire United States on board. I download these for free online (see "Frugal Flier" article in Flying Magazine about free charts). However, the screen is too small.

    The iPad changes the game, if viewed as an EFB. As long as Jeppesen does not lock pilots into a subscription requirement, we're set! All we need is a good quality PDF reader with zoom and pan functions and a really quick search engine with hyperlink capability and I'm ready to buy now.

    All we'll need after that is weather and maybe a Mode-S extended squitter and we can use the iPad as our ADS-B MFD?

  2. Check here iPhone/iPad as ADS-B moving map