April 9, 2013
By Sarah Brown
A new model of inReach satellite communications device offers a color screen, virtual keyboard, and the ability to text any cellphone, email address, or social media page, DeLorme announced at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo April 9.
InReach SE (Screen Edition) allows users to send and receive text messages all over the world via the Iridium satellite network, either paired with a smartphone or in standalone mode. The handheld device can send and receive free-form, 160-character messages; trigger an SOS and interact with DeLorme’s search-and-rescue monitoring center; and track a flight and share GPS coordinates.
“From LOL to SOS and every message in between, DeLorme inReach SE makes any adventure better,” the company said on its website. DeLorme CEO Michael Heffron said in a media release that this next generation of inReach includes features based on customer feedback: An internal rechargeable battery and on-screen, free-form texting will be especially beneficial to pilots, he said.
When paired with a smartphone, inReach gives unlimited access to downloadable topographic maps and NOAA charts on the mobile device using the company’s Earthmate app, DeLorme said.
Suggested retail price for inReach SE is $299, with annual satellite subscriptions starting at $9.95 per month, DeLorme said. The new units will begin shipping April 15.
Jeppesen’s Mobile FliteDeck VFR for iPad has been expanded; iFly GPS is now available on Android platforms; and iFlightPlanner 2.0, FltPlanGo, and FlightPro have all been updated.
For all its regulations and costs, there are options out there to make the dream of aircraft ownership a reality for most pilots.
Piper and Continental have teamed to produce a diesel-powered Archer designed for the international flight training market. The first Archer DX has been flying in Germany since February.
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