A new device developed by Redbird Simulations and Bad Elf connects Apple iPads to flight simulators, allowing pilots to use iPad moving-map apps while flying the simulator. The new Cygnus device allows pilots to fly with iPads using simulators just as they would in the airplane.
“There are risks when using new technology,” said John King, co-chairman of King Schools, which develops training courses and also sells Redbird simulators. “You ought to have standard operating procedures [when using iPads] before getting into the airplane. And this should be part of training.”
Cygnus, unveiled last week at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, comes in two versions. Pro Connect ($599) includes Bad Elf’s new Bluetooth GPS (up to five iOS devices) and software to make the iPad think it is flying wherever the simulator has virtually located the device. Cygnus Home Direct ($199) includes a special cable and software. Both versions connect Redbird simulators and PCs running Microsoft Flight Simulator or X-Plane to the iPad and include a six-month free subscription to JeppView charts.
Because many business aviation pilots are already flying with iPads, Bad Elf is in discussions with three major simulator training companies that are interested in the Cygnus technology, according to Bad Elf founder and lead engineer Brett Hackleman.