moving map software on tablets or PDAs (APIC etc.)

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What are your thoughts about the various aviation GPS packages available for PDAs and
Tablet PCs? How does the combination of a bluetooth GPS and, say, APIC from Approach
Systems ( compare to an integrated Garmin unit for VFR
use? I will be trying this out shortly, but I couldn't find any reviews on-line. Thanks in
advance for your advice.


-- Vik Bajaj, April 4, 2008


I've seen some very impressive stuff on Tablet PCs. Unfortunately, it is hard to use anything that isn't mounted in the panel when you're trying to fly an airplane. I would say that a Tablet PC could be of great utility to a copilot, but not to a pilot.

-- Philip Greenspun, April 5, 2008


It's also difficult to see something that isn't on the panel. My Fujitsu tablet PC was unreadable in diffuse overcast lighting; my co-pilot had to cup his hands over the screen to confirm that it was on. There was no point in continuing the experiment further. My iPhone, by contrast, remains totally readable in much brighter light. I will try again with an HP Windows Mobile PDA this week, but I anticipate disappointment.


-- Vik Bajaj, April 6, 2008

The use of PDAs has been widespread in sailplanes for some years and there are several different programs available some free shareware. Depending on the aircraft you may find the screen difficult to read. Funnily enough the best units are the HP 39xx which although old and a bit slow have a screen which is far better in bright light than newer units. You can also get an anti-glare screen protector which helps. Ram do a mounting system for most units.You will need to power the PDA from the cigar lighter, the batteries don't last long with the screen at full brightness. If you Google Winpilot there is a GA version of their program and you can see what it offers, I think you can also download a trial version. The free shareware program is XCSoar, obviously not ideal for GA but you could at least see if the PDA works in your plane without spending a lot of money.

-- Nigel Cottrell, September 24, 2008

This is a moving map with a lot of optionals features (IFR charts, W/R, etc) So i'm from switzerland I really don't know how the US charts are! but anyway take a look! It' s ETSO certified, personally on our company we installed on a lot of Helicopters (AS350 A-Star), but of course can be installed on a A/C!

-- Timothy Prospero, January 1, 2009