August 1, 2013
By Ian J. Twombly
It’s no secret that pilots who fly with an iPad consider it a great device with one major drawback—the display is barely readable in the cockpit. MyGoFlight, a company that’s come out of nowhere to offer a bevy of iPad accessories, thinks it has the solution with a second, independent display.
Called the Sight Line Display, the screens are available in either 7 or 10 inches. MyGoFlight said it estimates the 10-inch screen will provide 30 percent more viewing area because of the lack of need for menu space.
The displays have three main advantages over using the iPad alone. Most importantly, they are easily readable in direct sunlight. The display can be manually dimmed for night flight, or can be turned way up for sunny days in airplanes with full canopies.
iPads have known to shut off when placed on the glareshield, and the Sight Line Display should help with this problem as well. The screen is rated up to 140 degrees. This should be high enough for almost all areas. Owners of experimental aircraft who install the display in the panel will have even less to worry about. For pilots of certificated aircraft, the display is meant to be mounted on top of the glareshield, right in the line of view.
The open architecture of the display means that it will work with potentially any application, provided the developer adds some basic functionality. Theoretically that means you could select an approach with your iPad on your lap, and have the plate show up on the display on the glareshield.
Finally, application developers will have the ability to split information going from the iPad to the Flight Line Displays, effectively creating two iPads in one. This enables any number of combinations, such as having the taxi diagram on the glareshield and the airport information on the iPad.
The units will run off aircraft power, and a backup battery with built-in GPS is optional. MyGoFlight isn’t talking about price yet, but expect it to cost as much or more than a basic iPad. Pre-orders will be taken soon at the company’s website. Units are expected to ship this fall.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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