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  • Flightview

    As I get closer to finishing the second wing I am searching for EFIS/EMS solutions. I would like anything going into a wing to be done before closing up the wings (magnetometer, AOA support, etc). To that end I read an interesting thread on VAF about a new product that seems promising and is a lot less money than Dynon. Here are a couple of things; the company's web site, a youtube video and the original thread at VAF

    The developer will be at Oshkosh with his airplane. If it works as well as the website reads it might be a lower cost solution for a VFR aircraft.

    Scott Ahrens
    Bearhawk Patrol Plans Built

  • #2
    At first glance it looks along the same lines as iLevil stuff. Really quite cool. I originally planned on using iLevil stuff but switched to Grand Rapids since they have a option to send flight data to an android tablet via Bluetooth.

    Lots of cool option out there.
    Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.


    • #3
      This is interesting. The only problem I have with iPad dependent systems is that as Apple releases an upgrade all of a sudden there is a glitch in how the system works until the developer releases their patch. With Garmin or Dynon this is
      not a problem since they are controlling everything. I will look at this at Oshkosh.


      • #4
        Very interesting. I think stuff like this and iLevel is definitely the future. If it is all self powered, you might even be able to mount some of it is a personal electronic device in an old 180 or anything else certified. I know you can with one of the small back up EFIS's if they are self powered and not wired into the electrical system.

        I like the remote air data module. It sure would make it less work/weight to mount an air data/remote magnetometer and just run one set of power/canbus wires back to the panel. Also if the engine monitor can be used stand alone it might make a really nice EMS for someone that wants steam gauges for everything else.

        We used IPAD's with Jepp Pro and some custom software at my last job. It was an absolute nightmare every apple software update. I think the IT guys lost 2 weeks sleep every month. It came close to shutting down the airline one Tuesday morning a couple of years ago. I think it was something like 7 or 8 pct of the airlines IPADS crashed one morning after an update. A warning went out on every possible way to communicate to not update the IPAD software. Apple software works great, but it is a taskmaster. They do not defer to anyone when they do something.

        I ordered my EFIS stuff but it is so far 2 months late shipping. They better hurry before I change my mind.


        • #5
          There's a really simple solution to the issue of Apple iOS updates crashing your EFB (or your EFIS, in this case): Don't upgrade to a new release of iOS until you get the "all clear" from your EFB / EFIS vendor. ForeFlight, Seattle Avionics, Garmin, and ALL of the others publish an update when they've checked out the upgrades and found them OK – or if they find a problem, they tell you that. I believe Sporty's consolidates this list on their site for our convenience. So if you have "auto-update" turned ON in your iOS settings, turn it OFF. This is the recommended setting from all of the EFB vendors.

          I was the mobile applications architect for a Fortune 50 company that generated about 90% of its revenues via mobile devices. Even a 1-hour outage would have cost the company over $5 million. So when we switched to iPhone and iPad as our mobile platform, we installed systems management software that prevented the user from updating the OS – it would only happen when we finished our testing. In the five years I was leading that global project, we had zero outages due to the Apple hardware and/or software. There were some infrastructure issues a few times (thank you, large German software 3-letter acronym company), but nothing having to do the Apple iOS or the Apple hardware.
          Jim Parker
          Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
          Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312


          • #6
            You must have done it better than the company I worked for. We used Jepp Pro, and a WX app I can't remember. Plus proprietary software. It all had to work before you updated. And that had to work before the next update. The company I worked for (UAL) was a nightmare, which I heard most legacy US carriers were. 40 years of hardware and software, meshed together.

            The IPAD was wonderful. And a nightmare. Not my nightmare. For me it was great. For us, it was probably the wrong platform.

            If you are an aircraft owner, to some extent you are your own IT department. It is OK if it is a WX app that you can live without. Not OK if it is you primary flight instrument system.

            Dynon, MGL, and GRT all sell a cheaper version of their EFIS which is cost competitive with Flightview. I give Flightview a lot of kudos. I think that is where LSA and ultralight, and day VFR are going. It is not far off of where I am going.


            • #7

              I get the challenge. One must be patient – sometimes very patient. And that can be really hard when the new iOS version has something you really want to use... But Apple typically has one major and one minor release a year. These days (the "post Steve Jobs" era) there is also generally a brief flurry of "bug fix" updates within a month or so afterward. If you can be patient, and wait those out, your path is a lot smoother. I used to tell my guys "Don't even look at the new release until it's been our a full week... Then look at the issue reports, and if any of them might even remotely affect your application, wait for the next bug-fix release."

              It is also extremely rare for ForeFlight (or any of the other EFB vendors) to release a new version that is bad. In the entire lifetime of Foreflight, I can only remember one release that had a significant issue, and it was "announced" by then within 24 hours of release, and fixed well under a week. So I generally wait a week after their new release hits the app store, and watch the forums for issue reports. And I generally make time during that week to actually watch all the "new features" videos they put out, so that when I DO download it, I know how to use the new features. (Though lately, a lot of them have been for the more expensive corporate-targeted versions. I'm hoping this isn't a trend encouraged by the Boeing acquisition!)

              So how I handle it for my personal devices is to wait for the "all clear" from the EFB vendors before you upgrade to a new iOS version, and about a week after any new EFB release for any hidden issues to come to light. And I still keep both ForeFlight and FlyQ EFB loaded (and stay current using them) so I have some app diversity in the cockpit - just in case there's another "glitch" in either of those platforms themselves.

              PS – I had some friends who work in the IT department of Southwest. One of them became their CIO. Their newly formed mobile app team met with us when before they took on any projects, and picked our brains extensively. Our flight department was using ForeFlight for a bunch of reasons I won't go into here... Southwest adopted pretty much all of our policies and procedures to jump-start their support team, including using ForeFlight. I haven't talked with anyone there since I retired, but before that, we talked regularly, and the program was a huge success. The pilots loved it, and the team was credited with saving the company multiple millions of dollars per year. (And before anyone asks: No, I'm not related to the Jim Parker that was their CEO after Herb semi-retired...)
              Jim Parker
              Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
              Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312


              • #8
                I think if I was going to use any tablet based (IOS, Android, or Windows) as my EFIS I would dedicate one to that so I could pick and choose when to update. The problem with multiple high end software vendors is they don't work together. One might require you to update for something to work, another might require you NOT update until a specific date.

                The IPAD stuff we had was great. Didn't add any capability, but wow what a situational awareness revelation.

                But the company's implementation was a nightmare, for the company. I asked a few heavies how many dedicated employees are IPAD and IPHONE (F/A's) support. I got a chuckle each time. I asked "500"? Again, chuckles.

                Sounds like you did it a lot better than my company did.