Free cockpit weather on the iPad? Yes please

March 29, 2012

Sporty’s Pilot Shop and ForeFlight are making life with your iPad a little sweeter. The two companies worked with Appareo Systems to develop a small, wireless, portable Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) weather receiver and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) GPS for the iPad.

Called Stratus, the new box is smaller than most handheld GPS units, runs off battery for eight hours, and allows users to get cockpit weather, TFRs, and more on an iPad with no subscription. Stratus works off the ADS-B network, which is available in a majority of the country today, and is expected to be fully operational by 2013 ( see a coverage map).

The box was built by Appareo Systems, and works only with ForeFlight. Company chief Tyson Weihs says the weather integrates seamlessly with the app, providing menus for the time the data was received, brightness, and satellite coverage.

Connection to the unit is done through Wi-Fi, which means that multiple devices can connect and receive the information at one time.

Stratus is available for purchase now through Sportys or Appareo Systems for $799. First shipments are expected April 23.

Ian J. Twombly

Ian J. Twombly | "Flight Training" Editor

Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.