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Navigation unplugged: Know what your GPS doesn't tell you By Dr. Ian Blair Fries AOPA Flight Training, June 2006 GPS has transformed the way we fly. For the occasional pilot, $400 buys a handheld global positioning system receiver that bests any VOR, ADF, or DME costing more than a thousand dollars each. For a few hundred dollars more, a pilot can have a GPS-based moving map and little excuse for being lost. GPS is so good that you can be lulled into thinking it is infallible. However, there are enough pitfalls to make blind dependence upon GPS risky.
President's Perspective: Unlocking GPS Mastering satellite navigation By Phil Boyer AOPA Flight Training, March 2006 There's been a lot of discussion lately about the new technology that is making its way into the cockpits of training aircraft. And the conversation seems to grow louder with each glass-panel aircraft that rolls off a manufacturer's assembly line. Hard to keep up with? You bet.
Safety Pilot: Staying in the loop By Bruce Landsberg AOPA Pilot, February 2005 The hot ticket these days is technologically advanced aircraft, or TAA, as the FAA has dubbed airplanes with at least a GPS navigator, multifunction display, and an autopilot. As the marketplace sizzles, the pilot community is adapting and evolving as quickly as possible. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation was commissioned by an individual donor to take a look at the phenomenon of TAA and comment on the safety, training, and attributes of these machines.
What's Up With WAAS? Flying the new WAAS approaches By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, December 2004 "Well, that was easy." While the nuts and bolts of WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) remain complex, the execution is simple. The highly corrected GPS signal provided by WAAS gives any capable GPS navigator accurate enough position information to concoct a glideslopelike course and guide you down it.
Safety Pilot GPS — going beyond 'Direct-To' By Bruce Landsberg AOPA Pilot, June 2004 IFR GPS is now the mainstream navigation system for most new cross-country aircraft. These new aircraft still come with VOR and ILS, but these systems are almost afterthoughts. Well, not quite — nothing beats a good ILS on a foggy low approach, but for en route nav and nonprecision approaches, the GPS is tough to top. Regardless of the value of GPS, however, VOR, DME, and ILS will be with us for quite a while. While new GPS satellites are scheduled for launch in this decade, VHF equipment will be a primary nav source well into the future.
GPS transition: A practical approach By Ralph L. Butcher AOPA Flight Training, May 2004 GPS navigation is a terrific system that's relatively easy to master if you fly frequently and always use the same GPS receiver. If you fly infrequently, however-and especially if you fly different airplanes with different GPS receivers-mastering GPS navigation can be frustrating. My approach to this problem should help you enter this new domain. I'll take you from a known system (VOR) to an unknown system (GPS) by using familiar procedures and thought processes.
Pilot Products: New in avionics Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, March 2004 The instrument panel has always been a hot spot for new aviation products, and this year is no exception. And the big news continues to be "glass" — officially known as an electronic flight information system (EFIS) or primary and multifunction display (PFD and MFD, respectively). While jet cockpits have hosted glass for some time, costs and other characteristics have now evolved to allow products that fit, price-wise and size-wise, into single-engine and light multiengine airplanes.
Mobile Cockpit: Portable devices for renter pilots By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, January 2004 You already have your route loaded in your handheld GPS. That and the flight plan you printed from your laptop computer will get you on your way with nary an orange word from the loran's rolling display.
Instructor Report CFI to CFI: GPS is an aid, not a crutch Students need to know navigation By Bruce Anzalone AOPA Flight Training, December 2003 When was the last time that you navigated cross-country solely with pilotage and dead-reckoning skills? With all of today's electronic navigational equipment, you probably haven't for awhile. Why would you? Current GPS receivers allow you to dial in a direct course and fly a heading, with distance to go displayed on the same screen.
How to Be a RAIM-Maker Insights into GPS flight planning By Robert Jex AOPA Pilot, November 2003 GPS is a powerful tool but you need to do some planning in order to get the most out of it, and that means understanding an important aeronautical decision-making (ADM) tool called RAIM prediction. It's built right into your panel-mount GPS.
GPS Goes Low The navaids, avionics, and procedures of the future — today By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, September 2003 Ever since 1994, when the first GPS receiver was certified for IFR operations, the general aviation community has been waiting for the day when GPS navigation would reach its highest expression — providing approach capabilities with the precision to rival those of an instrument landing system (ILS). That day came on July 10, when the FAA's wide area augmentation system (WAAS) entered its initial operational capability (IOC) phase.
Navigating: Then & Now — Understanding GPS How to slew your own pseudo-random code By Jeff Pardo AOPA Flight Training, May 2003 The satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) is a wonderful thing. Although new technology can be intimidating — particularly the potentially confusing variations between the user interfaces of various manufacturers — one of the best ways not to be intimidated by something is to learn more about it.
Out of the Pattern: Applied Avionics Making the most of your black boxes By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, April 2002 Over the past 10 short years, what began as a trickle of new avionics features and capabilities has evolved into a waterfall. In 1990, loran was the hot new technology, and we all thought a one-line, limited-text display was plenty of information. Today, we have IFR approach-certified GPS receivers (some with the capabilities of high-end flight management systems), huge color displays capable of showing uplinked weather and traffic threats, and more and more avionics "peripherals" — in-flight telephones, e-mail, personal digital assistants, and more.
Instructor Report: A Good CFI Is Always Learning! Software To Help Learn GPS By Rod Machado AOPA Flight Training, January 2002 You've doubtlessly had requests from at least a few pilots for instruction on how to use their new GPS receiver. If you don't have experience with many of the different units available, you're in for a surprise. The surprise begins when you can't figure out how to turn it on. Worse yet, you might not even be able to tell whether it's actually on. Maybe I can help.
Satellites, Signals, and You: In the market for a handheld GPS? By Elizabeth A. Tennyson AOPA Flight Training, June 2001 Not all aircraft are quipped with GPS, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of this technology. Purchasing your own portable, handheld GPS receiver gives you the opportunity to carry a unit with which you are intimately familiar in any airplane you fly. Pilots who rent aircraft with different panel-mounted GPS units soon learn that every model works a little differently, and every manufacturer has its own set of operating conventions. That's just one reason why it's a good idea to fly with your own receiver.
Safety Pilot: Technology intelligence By Bruce Landsberg AOPA Pilot, August 1999 In an aviation vein, there are cases where VFR pilots used GPS in an attempt to maneuver through weather that was not good enough for VFR flight. The GPS did not improve the visibility, nor did it raise the ceiling. It just navigated the flight directly and precisely to the point of impact.
GPS Technology An AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisor (Requires Adobe Reader) GPS is now found in most light aircraft cockpits, and many GPS installations are certified for en route IFR and for nonprecision approaches. As promised, the FAA is rapidly developing GPS capability that will provide approaches with vertical guidance to thousands of airports. Moreover, as GPS evolves, avionics manufacturers are improving and integrating this remarkable navigation system into equipment that's more versatile, easier to operate, and capable of giving pilots unprecedented confidence in situational awareness.
AOPA Air Traffic Services Brief Use of GPS in lieu of DME/ADF Until recently, pilots operating with GPS receivers certified for instrument flight rules (IFR) were not permitted to use GPS for any approach operations where no GPS overlay or stand-alone approach existed. Furthermore, GPS was not approved for use in any capacity for localizer-type approaches; e.g., ILS, localizer, SDF, or LDA. This forced those equipped with IFR GPS receivers to maintain and replace DME and ADF receivers in order to utilize all approaches in the National Airspace System. GPS has proven itself a reliable and highly accurate navigation system over the past four years, which warranted a change in these policies.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation provides Web links for GPS manuals, simulators Many pilots, especially renters, must navigate with different GPS receivers. Now pilots can learn GPS without leaving the ground. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers on-line access to GPS manuals and computer-based simulators.
AIRGATOR Pilot Products: AirGator's NavAir EFB By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, June 2005 A highly competitive market in moving-map software for use in the cockpit has driven the development of several great programs for electronic flight bags (EFBs). A uniquely intelligent application is that produced by AirGator, the NavAir EFB program for both PocketPC and tablet PC and laptop platforms.
AVMAP Pilot Products: AvMap EKP-IV By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, May 2005 C-Map Aviation's AvMap EKP-IV has a super-sharp 7-inch-diagonal TFT (thin film transistor) display. The portrait-screen layout (a landscape presentation is also available) includes data blocks taking up the top quarter of the display.
Pilot Products: AvMap EKP-IV portable GPS navigator By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, March 2005 C-Map Aviation has specialized in large-format portable GPS units, which we've reviewed favorably. The company continues to impress with its latest offering, the EKP-IV. The color display is slightly larger than that of the EKP-IIIc (see " Pilot Products," May 2002 Pilot), with a super-sharp 7-inch-diagonal TFT (thin film transistor) screen — even though the unit costs $300 less than its predecessor. Like the IIIc, the EKP-IV defaults to a portrait-screen layout (a landscape presentation is also available), with a data window that includes information parceled out in blocks taking up the top quarter of the display. You can select one, two, or three lines (each containing three data blocks) to appear in the data window, and set up the fields to your liking.
Pilot Products: C-Map Aviation's AvMap EKP-II NT GPS By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, January 2001 All of the big, beautiful panel-mounted GPS displays may have you lusting after your own moving map. Like most new avionics, however, the barriers to entry may lie in a prohibitively high cost and lack of real estate on the panel. Well, feast your eyes on C-Map's new AvMap product line. The first of these products, the EKP-II NT GPS, is a kneeboard-style large-format moving-map unit that combines many of the same features as its panel-mounted brethren. From the main menu, you may select the moving-map screen, which brings up as much detail as you'd like. The screen centers either on your position or, in cursor mode, on any destination you select. Access to the various functions is through a relatively simple keypad: Once you figure out the logic, inputs are intuitive.
Pilot Products: AvMap EKP-IIIc By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, May 2002 Most pilots long for a large panel-mount color moving map, but not everyone has the budget or space for one. Now there's a less expensive alternative that requires no installation and no panel space. AvMap's new EKP-IIIc moving-map GPS features a huge, high-contrast color moving map in a standard-size pilot kneeboard.
CONTROL VISION Pilot Products: Control Vision AnywhereMap 1.25 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, October 2002 Control Vision introduced a three-axis attitude indicator that will display on PDAs in concert with its AnywhereMap software. The attitude indicator uses a proprietary attitude reference module (incorporating a digital attitude heading reference system [AHRS], a resident GPS receiver, and a battery pack) to provide self-erecting attitude information. The system is expected to retail for $1,495 and be available this fall. Control Vision also announced a partnership with WeatherData to provide weather products, including Stormvision, which projects a Nexrad-style image 20 minutes into the future with 90-percent accuracy. The data will be delivered via satellite datalink or AirCell telephone systems. For more information, visit the Web site.
Pilot Products: Control Vision AnywhereMap By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, July 2001 What if you had a handheld GPS receiver that offered a full-color moving-map display, detailed airport information, and flight-planning software; cost less than $1,200; and weighed less than a pound? If the system works well, you would have one heck of a deal. Enter Control Vision's AnywhereMap for Pocket PC.
DESTINATION DIRECT Pilot Products: Destination Direct By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, March 2004 Always a top contender in the flight-planning and moving-map software wars, Destination Direct has now expanded in several directions, including software, new hardware, and an Internet site that participates directly with the flight-planning program. The explosion of technology came after Destination Direct owner Rebecca Anthony sold the company to IMAPS, of Columbia, Illinois. That company, in turn, owns a variety of additional companies and Internet sites that now make up the total package of products and services offered to Destination Direct customers. The central player is a marine navigation firm called Captn. Jack's. Going to the Destination Direct Web site eventually gets you everywhere you need to go.
GARMIN Pilot Products: Garmin GPSMap 396 By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, October 2005 Garmin's new GPSMap 396 may be a handheld unit, but it provides the weather avoidance features you might expect to find in the panel-mount gear of today's high-end general aviation aircraft.
Pilot Products: Garmin iQue 3600a By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, May 2005 The iQue 3600a, from Garmin, said to be aviation's first "ready to fly" personal digital assistant (PDA), was introduced in January. The Palm-OS device has a 3.8-inch color display, a 200MHz processor, and expandable memory via Secure Digital cards. In addition to the built-in base map, the iQue 3600a provides terrain and obstacle data, a Jeppesen database, and the usual PDA functions. With the terrain data is an alert system to warn you when obstacles come into range.
Pilot Products: Garmin GPSMap 96 and 96c By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, November 2004 Over the past few years, Garmin has built solid lines of aviation and consumer handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) navigators — but a reasonably sized contingent of pilots has held onto its earlier Garmin GPS models (remember the 92?) instead of latching onto the latest and greatest, with their long list of features and bigger screens. Garmin has filled the entry-level spot in its lineup with the GPSMap 96 and 96c.
Avoiding Terrain: Garmin's GPSMap 296 By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, August 2004 Two years ago Garmin's GPSMap 196 shocked the portable-GPS market with a $1,000 receiver that navigates on land, sea, or in the air (" Triple Play: The Garmin GPSMap 196," October 2002 Pilot). Still on the market, it features instrument approaches and a Panel page of realistic aircraft instruments that can be used to make a crude localizer-like approach (it is not certified for IFR flight). Garmin's latest offering — the $1,695 (street price) GPSMap 296 — one-ups the 196, offering all previous features but adding terrain and obstacle cautions and displaying it all on a color screen. It mimics terrain awareness systems costing 10 times as much. And while the 196 has only a black-and-white display (well, maybe only is too strong a word since it is a 12-level gray-scale display), the use of color allows the 296's map to look just like a sectional chart. The 296 ups the ante further: It's WAAS-ready (Wide Area Augmentation System). The question you may be asking is, "Is it $700 better?" To find out, the 296 was tested in challenging conditions from the streets of Chicago to the mountains of West Virginia and the flat sands of Florida.
Triple Play: The Garmin GPSMap 196 By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, October 2002 Garmin stunned the market five years ago with its GPSMap 195 handheld GPS, but in the computer world five years may as well be 100. It was time to freshen the product with new technology, such as faster processors, higher-resolution screens, and umpty zillion new software tricks. The result is the GPSMap 196, featuring a display that updates four times faster than a 195 yet offers twice the screen resolution. The 196 can guide you down the highway, airway, or waterway.
Pilot Products: WAAS available on Garmin GPSMap 295 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, July 2001 Garmin International Inc. has begun adding Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capability to its line of handheld GPS receivers for marine, highway, and aviation use. The first Garmin aviation product to receive the enhanced accuracy is the GPSMap 295. WAAS will improve the vertical navigation capability of GPS signals so that they eventually can be used for precision approaches. However, WAAS is approved so far only for VFR use while testing necessary to certify the system for IFR use continues.
Pilot Products: Garmin GPSMAP 295 By Peter A. Bedell AOPA Pilot, April 2000 One of the best handheld GPS units on the market just got a little better and a whole lot more colorful. Garmin's GPSMAP 195 has been among the most lusted-after aviation products since its introduction in 1996. The 195 and its smaller sibling, the GPS III Pilot, feature a robust 12-channel receiver and a full complement of aviation and terrain data. All aviation navaids, as well as roads, lakes, towns, railroads, and other features of interest to pilots and nonpilots, are depicted in an easy-to-understand format.
Pilot Products: Garmin NavTalk Pilot By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, December 2000 Ladies and gentlemen, the $100 hamburger is officially a thing of the past. Now, with Garmin's new NavTalk Pilot, you can have a $3,000 pizza, ordered straight from the cockpit and delivered to a ramp near you. While AirCell brought cellular telephone service to the general aviation airplane, Garmin has upped the ante with its combination cellular phone/handheld GPS unit. The NavTalk Pilot is the answer for those who want a solid handheld GPS unit combined with the convenience of cellular service in the air.
KING SCHOOLS Pilot Products: King Schools electronic E6B By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, January 2004 For less than $30, King Schools now offers a software program that converts your Palm (using OS 3.5 or better) or any Windows-based handheld computer (running PocketPC 2002 or better) to an E6B flight computer. It's easy to use and performs a few tricks your manual E6B may not, such as calculating traffic- and holding-pattern entries, and displaying them graphically.
LOWRANCE Pilot Products: Lowrance AirMap 2000C By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, May 2005 The Lowrance AirMap 2000C comes Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)-capable and has a sharp 5-inch-diagonal screen. You access the menus and move the cursor by using the eight dedicated buttons and arrow keys on the case.
Pilot Products: Lowrance AirMap 2000C By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, April 2005 When Lowrance re-entered the aviation handheld market with its AirMap GPS in 1997, it aimed at being a lower-cost alternative. The company has spent its time since then steadily developing solid GPS handhelds with ever-advancing features. So it makes sense that the next step for Lowrance is a color display, which it debuts on the AirMap 2000C.
On Display: Bright Companion: Lowrance AirMap 1000 Find your way on the big display By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, July 2004 From somewhere in the land between GPS receivers you can fit in your pocket and those that take up the entire right seat comes the latest portable receiver from Lowrance. The company, which also produces navigators for marine- and land-based outdoor recreation, introduced the original AirMap for aviation use back in 1997, and the AirMap 100 in 1998 — and the product line has come quite a way since. But then, so has technology. Screens are sharper, refresh rates are swifter, and there are the promises of WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) echoing from the panel into handhelds. With its Model 500 (see " Pilot Products," February Pilot) and 1000, Lowrance is proving it can more than keep up — and at a very reasonable price. The AirMap 1000 retails for $799, positioning it to compete well with other GPS handhelds.
Departments: Pilot Products Lowrance AirMap 500 and AirMap 1000 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Flight Training, June 2004 Two new GPS handhelds from Lowrance add some much-needed competition to the portable GPS market, and provide solid choices for back-up navigation once you've mastered pilotage and dead reckoning.
Pilot Products: Lowrance AirMap 500 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, February 2004 Lowrance has held a consistent place in the aviation handheld-GPS market with its AirMap 100. Now it brings a host of new features to the first of its two latest products, the AirMap 500. The AirMap 1000 debuted recently with a larger screen. But the 500 is a svelte, highly functional GPS navigator suitable for the air, as well as land and sea.
Pilot Products: Lowrance AirMap 100 By Marc E. Cook AOPA Pilot, September 1998 Despite increasingly elaborate feature sets and further emphasis on IFR-approved GPS receivers, the hottest activity continues to surround the low-priced, novelty-laden portables. Garmin has recently revamped its trendsetting GPS 90 into the 92, supplanting the single-channel, sequencing receiver for a 12-channel parallel model; Magellan has added a host of new features to its inexpensive SkyStar Plus and enhanced its larger handheld, the EC-20X; and Lowrance has cast its line into the feeding frenzy with the new AirMap 100.
MAPTECH Pilot Products: Maptech Pocket Navigator By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, April 2002 Maptech is an Amesbury, Massachusetts, firm that gets its kicks from stuffing huge government charts — marine, land, and aeronautical — into your personal digital assistant (PDA). Add a GPS receiver, and a flashing red dot tells you exactly where you are. By placing markers, you can create routes complete with distance and compass-bearing information. It's handy for pilots who want a multipurpose unit that can be used for hiking (with topographic charts from the U.S. Geological Survey) and boating (with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine charts). The aeronautical charts require a lot of memory — 12 to 20 MB each — meaning you'll want a PDA with as much memory as possible. Or you can put the maps on expansion cards and insert them into your PDA as necessary.
MOUNTAINSCOPE Pilot Products: MountainScope Moving-Map Software By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, April 2003 Moving-map program designers never seem to run out of new ideas and clever ways to present information graphically. Todd Sprague, president of PC Avionics in Rancho Cordova, California, has come up with several neat tricks in his MountainScope moving-map software. Designed primarily for personal digital assistants (PDAs), it also runs on tablet and laptop computers. PC Avionics sells plug-in WAAS-enabled GPS receivers as well to minimize the bulk of equipment you must carry to the cockpit.
NAVAERO Pilot Products: NavAero tPad 800 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, February 2004 Aimed at pilots who love their laptops, and aren't quite ready for a tablet PC, the tPad 800 (tPad stands for tactical pilot awareness display) is a remote, kneeboard computer display by NavAero. The display routes to a host computer through an interface box and connects via a hardwired cable, allowing the host to be tucked into a backseat or storage area of the airplane during flight. The pilot then accesses programs on the host computer using a stylus.
NAVAIRWX Pilot Products: NavAirWx By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, April 2004 NavAirWx is a portable moving-map and flight-planning software package that runs on a personal digital assistant (PDA), tablet PC, or electronic flight bag with the added feature of in-flight weather data and radar overlays from WxWorx. A GPS receiver is used to keep track of your location. All the equipment is available from AirGator, of Mount Kisco, New York; WxWorx requires a separate subscription from XM Satellite Radio for $49.99 a month and a one-time activation fee of $75.
NAVGPS Pilot Products: Navgps moving-map software By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, June 2002 A number of good moving-map programs exist for personal digital assistants (PDAs), and one that just got a nice upgrade is Navgps. Navgps comes in two flavors, Navgps Basic, version 2.4a, and Navgps Pro, version 3.0c. The Basic software offers a full-color moving-map screen displayed on the PDA that shows flight-planned routes, airspace, navaids, fixes, and airports. The pilot can choose from a 120-degree arc heading presentation or a horizontal situation indicator presentation with the present course as well as data blocks with altitude, distance, estimated time en route, and groundspeed.
STENBOCK & EVERSON Pilot Products: Stenbock & Everson ChartCase Compiled by Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, February 2003 A new entrant has joined the fray of companies building electronic flight bags (EFBs). EFBs are scaled-down laptop computers designed to provide everything a pilot needs in the form of weather and navigation information to complete a flight. ChartCase from Stenbock & Everson includes complete FAA data for flight planning, electronic approach charts, and a basic off-line flight planner. When connected to the Internet, ChartCase provides access to FlightPrep, the company's multifunction graphical flight-planning engine with approach charts and on-course overlays of TFRs, SUAs, and Nexrad weather shown in a single-pass high-speed Web image.
TELETYPE Pilot Products: TeleType GPS for PDAs By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, October 2003 When we first began reviewing software programs for personal digital assistants (see " Pilot Products: Aviation Applications for PDAs," April 2001 Pilot), we took a look at TeleType's moving-map GPS program, one of the first entrants in a field that has since exploded. TeleType's entry was an offshoot of its robust street-mapping (and marine) GPS program for handheld computers and laptops. To be honest, it seemed like the aviation functions were a bit of an afterthought and not all operated smoothly until bugs were addressed — the program seemed reasonable for use on the ground but not quite ready for prime time in flight.
WSI Pilot Products: WSI InFlight AV200 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, January 2004 While WSI's data-linked weather for portable devices, AV100, debuted several months back, we recently got our first look at the certified installed version, AV200, as displayed on the Garmin AT MX20. The system is also available on the similar L3 Avionics i-linc, as well as on the Universal Avionics' Universal Cockpit Display (UCD), a Class 3 electronic flight bag, and Chelton Flight Systems' FlightLogic Synthetic Vision primary flight display.
WXWORX Pilot Products: WxWorx on Wings By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, December 2003 Don't have your own uplinked weather data or radar? Ever wish there was a portable weather receiver for cloud tops, lightning strikes, winds, Nexrad radar maps, storm cell tracking, sigmets and airmets, METARs, and terminal area forecasts? As one million listeners know, XM Satellite Radio offers 101 digital channels of news, sports, and music, but it can do more than entertain. A Huntsville, Alabama, company called WxWorx now uses XM Satellite Radio resources to broadcast weather, WxWorx on Wings, anywhere in the continental United States (Alaska and Hawaii are not included).
AIRPLAN Pilot Products AirPlan flight-planning software By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, July 2004 The straightforward AirPlan flight-planning software has undergone several updates since we last looked at it in 2001 (see " Pilot Products," January 2001 Pilot). Created by Razor's Edge Software, a small company based in Idaho, AirPlan was developed for budget-minded pilots but has grown to include some handy features found on more expensive programs.
ASA Pilot Products: GPS Trainer from ASA By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, August 2001 While global positioning system (GPS) receiver manufacturers provide a variety of training materials on their particular units, a lot of pilots — especially those who rent aircraft — are faced with learning multiple boxes. Enter Aviation Supplies and Academics' new GPS Trainer, a CD-ROM that covers operations of three popular IFR-approved GPS receivers.
ELECTRONIC FLIGHT SOLUTIONS Pilot Products: Electronic Flight Solutions for the Garmin 530/430 By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, March 2003 A new company called ElectronicFlight Solutions in Hyannis, Massachusetts, has developed computer-based training, the CompleteLearning Avionics Software Library, for the newest weather, terrain, and traffic avionics on the market from nearly a dozen manufacturers. Now its latest offering — which explores the Garmin GNS 530 and 430 — can transform you into a Harry Potter capable of pulling all the magic out of your GPS.
GARMIN Pilot Products: VFlite Garmin GPS 196 trainer software By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, March 2004 Garmin's GPSMap 196 handheld GPS navigator contains functions for weight and balance, a flight log, and E6B calculations — but do you only know how to enter a direct-to route? The VFlite Garmin GPSMap 196 Interactive Guide by Pegasus Interactive teaches you how to utilize more than 35 functions within the GPSMap 196 — and get the most from your investment.
JEPPESEN Pilot Products: Jeppesen bundles SkyMap with FliteStar/FliteMap By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, March 2001 GPS moving-map software for laptop computers is great for flying to a destination, but once on the ground it's time to get out the paper map and struggle with unfamiliar territory. Not anymore. Jeppesen now bundles FliteMap, its moving-map software for aviation, with SkyMap, Sony's ground-navigation program that literally talks you to your destination. Simply take your laptop from the airplane and pop it into the rental car.
Pilot Products: Jeppesen Skybound USB By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, August 2004 Many Jeppesen NavData users can now save about half the cost of their annual subscription by switching to the company's new Skybound USB service and downloading the data from the Internet. Jeppesen first introduced Internet-based downloading of navigation data several years ago. The first version, Skybound Datawriter, has been discontinued. The second version, Skybound II, which interfaces using a PCMCIA card, is still available. The new USB edition works on almost any personal computer manufactured in the past few years because universal serial bus (USB) ports are, well, almost universal on modern PCs.
KING SCHOOLS Pilot Products: Training for the KLN 89B/94 Compiled by Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, December 2001 In a recent issue (see " Pilot Products: GPS Trainer From ASA," August Pilot) we reviewed a computer-based method of upgrading your GPS expertise. But there are pilots who, at the end of a long day at the office, would rather be ramp-checked than sit in front of a monitor. Luckily for those of us suffering from eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome, there are other perfectly good ways of teaching yourself more about that mysterious black box in your panel. The latest advanced video course from King Schools, Flying GPS Approaches, lays a good foundation for flying GPS approaches using any IFR-approach-certified GPS unit and provides a detailed look at one of the most common boxes, the Honeywell Bendix/King KLN 89B.
MICROVISION Pilot Products: Microvision Nomad HUD By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, September 2002 Microvision, a company established in 1993 that specializes in precision optical scanning systems and related displays, has developed a portable head-up display (HUD) for use in general aviation aircraft. The Nomad Personal Flight Display System centers a small transparent screen in front of the pilot's dominant eye, enabling electronic flight information system (EFIS) data to be projected directly onto the pilot's retina. The result is that the EFIS display appears to be on the screen, and the pilot is able to view attitude, course, and airspeed information while staying focused outside the cockpit.
PEGASUS Pilot Products: VFlite's AirMap 2000C Interactive Guide By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, April 2005 Pegasus Interactive has also developed a niche in the GPS business — in training software. Among its titles for learning both panel-mount and handheld avionics is its latest offering, the AirMap 2000C Interactive Guide.
Pilot Products: Pegasus Interactive VFlite Compiled by Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, February 2003 When you seek the right instruction for learning to use a GPS receiver, there are two things that you should look for: model specificity and hands-on learning. The ultimate is to find an experienced instructor and learn about the GPS installed in your panel one-on-one. But many of us don't have access to that kind of expert training, or we'd like a portable way to learn while we're on the road or weathered in.
ARNAV On Display: Another Leap Ahead Arnav adds engine monitoring to its capable displays By Alton K. Marsh AOPA Pilot, November 2001 Arnav Systems, a small and innovative company located in Puyallup, Washington, offers a dazzling array of capabilities in its three cockpit displays, the 5-inch MFD (multifunction display) 5200, the 10-inch ICDS (integrated cockpit display system) 2000, and a primary flight display (attitude and heading reference information) housed in a dedicated 10-inch ICDS 2000. The navigation displays accept information from all GPS or loran navigation radios.
AVIDYNE On Display: Window to the World Open architecture is the foundation of Avidyne's FlightMax By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, October 2001 The computer I'm writing this article on is a late-model desktop unit, complete with all the bells and whistles a writer needs (that's not many, really — just a DVD drive for watching aviation movies when writer's block strikes). In less than a year, the same model will probably cost two-thirds of its original purchase price. Why? As technology advances at a blinding pace, demand falls for a less-capable unit.
Avidyne Entegra Display Suite Making sense of the data By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, December 2002
Pilot Products: Avidyne EX5000 By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, July 2002 The multifunction display (MFD) world consists of some heavy hitters, all with varying compatibility and usability for the pilot in the mood (and in the money) to upgrade to glass. Last fall, Avidyne announced its next contender, the extra-large FlightMax EX series, including the EX5000C and EX3000C for Cirrus aircraft, and the EX5000 for the aftermarket.
BENDIX/KING Pilot Products: Honeywell Bendix/King's KLN 94 By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, March 2001 Bendix/King, operating under the Honeywell banner since the 1999 buyout, has come out, albeit belatedly, with a new IFR GPS receiver. Dubbed the KLN 94, this unit is yet another entry in the competition to provide more general aviation pilots with graphics-dense, high-resolution color displays. The KLN 94 was designed as a direct swap for Bendix/King's KLN 89B — a full-featured moving-map GPS in its own right, but one with an orange dot-matrix-looking display. The idea is that you can pull out your old 89B and pop the same-size 94 in its place. The chief benefit is the 94's infinitely crisper, active-matrix liquid crystal color display. The unit is 2 inches high, 6.31 inches wide, and 10.8 inches long.
Exploring the Multifunction Frontier: More Than Multifunction Bendix/King's IHAS 5000 and 8000 By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, August 2001 The Bendix/King side of the Honeywell avionics empire has a unique suite of components that gives general aviation pilots the ability to monitor four of our biggest safety concerns: traffic, weather, terrain, and situational awareness. And it's all displayed in living color on a single, crisp, 5-inch-diagonal active matrix liquid crystal multifunction display (MFD).
GARMIN The Big Picture: Garmin's GNS 530 brings integration to a new level By Thomas B. Haines AOPA Pilot, July 2001 I feigned complete understanding as the Garmin demonstration pilot in the right seat of the company Mooney enthusiastically pointed out the nuances of operating the pioneering GPS 155 TSO in the panel. We were flying GPS approaches to Topeka, Kansas, on that early spring day in 1994. The truth is I was so far behind the box that I didn't know where we were. Fortunately it was VFR. And fortunately the first generation of IFR GPS receivers with their confounding operating logic is behind us.
HONEYWELL BENDIX/KING Honeywell Bendix/King's KMD 250: The Right Stuff Good things; small packages By Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, June 2004 The KMD 250 is set up like multifunction displays compatible with previous iterations of Bendix/King IHAS (integrated hazard avoidance system) and works in concert with various sensors in what the company dubs IHAS 2000 (as opposed to IHAS 5000 and IHAS 8000 for the higher-end systems). IHAS 2000 was developed for light GA aircraft with an eye to the budget.
MEGGITT Meggitt MAGIC 2100 DFCS Older turboprop twins get a new autopilot option, starting with Twin Commanders By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, November 2002 There are thousands of aging twin-engine turboprops, and almost all of them have autopilots from another era. In most cases these older autopilots function well. Older units get their inputs from conventional gyro-stabilized platforms or, in avionics jargon, iron gyros. Their pneumatically or electrically driven rotating components sense roll and pitch, and the analog signals they send to the autopilot are continuous.
NORTHSTAR Pilot Products: Northstar's GPS 60 and M3 Approach By Peter A. Bedell AOPA Pilot, August 1998 We recently had the opportunity to fly with two of Northstar Technologies' GPS products, the VFR GPS-60 and the IFR M3 Approach. Both boxes offer impressive capabilities and options for owners who are considering an IFR approach approved GPS, or for those thinking of stepping up to a VFR GPS from a loran.
S-TEC Pilot Products: S-Tec's GPSS Compiled by Julie K. Boatman AOPA Pilot, January 2002 An autopilot has traditionally been one of the most expensive items in an airplane. Besides the obvious convenience, autopilots provide a major safety benefit — especially to those of us flying single-pilot. Through the use of moving maps, today's GPS receivers bring newfound capability to airplanes and eye-opening situational awareness to pilots. S-Tec has married GPS receivers and autopilots so that basic units can fly as well or better than those in airliners — at a reasonable price.
UPS AVIATION TECHNOLOGIES On Display: A Sharper Image The Apollo MX20 delivers a six-inch color screen and almost every function you'll ever need By Thomas A. Horne AOPA Pilot, September 2001 UPS Aviation Technologies' (UPSAT) Apollo MX20 multifunction display, with its large (six inches, measured diagonally), super-sharp liquid crystal screen and wide range of capabilities, has become the display of choice for a huge number of pilots wanting to upgrade their aging instrument panels. UPS Aviation Technologies has unveiled a new version of the MX20 multifunction display that allows users to display weather information from the Honeywell Bendix/King RDR 2000 digital color radar system. Called the MX20-IO, the new display is also capable of showing traffic targets from both Goodrich Skywatch and Ryan TCAD products. The new model has all the same features as the standard MX20. For more information, contact UPS Aviation Technologies, 2345 Turner Road Southeast, Salem, Oregon 97302; telephone 800/525-6726; fax 503/364-2138; or visit the Web site. — Alton K. Marsh
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