DAC International has received FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) for its GDC64 tablet aircraft interface unit (TAIU). The unit serves two functions: to provide the correct power supply to recharge Apple iPad tablet computers; and to safely connect iPads to aircraft sensors to supply useful data to iPad applications. The GDC64 is hard-wired to the aircraft and doesn’t rely on wireless connectivity.
Rockwell Collins is at EBACE (Booth 423) with its latest offerings, featuring the Venue HD cabin management system (CMS) and the most recent interface innovations–Airshow 3-D moving map, Apple-enabling Skybox, the Paves family of in-flight entertainment (IFE) and an HGS flight app.
Although Francois Lassale, managing director at Vortex FSM, believes iPads are the future for every cockpit, he also thinks implementation of the new products has been rushed since deliveries began three years ago. Therein lies a threat. “I think the FAA and EASA have been caught off guard and simply rushed to catch up,” he said.
Deohako’s iPad mounting system offers a solid and secure method of protecting and attaching iPads in the cockpit. But the Austin, Texas-based company’s iPad mini product needs some refinements to make it more suitable for cockpits.
Flight operations specialist Francois Lassale brings up a good point in a recent issue of AINSafety, that “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” Lassale is absolutely right, and his views should extend to the use of any device or product that pilots bring into cockpits to help with their flying tasks.
Flight operations specialist François Lassale, managing director of Vortex FSM, has cast doubt on the wisdom of pilots’ depending on iPads in the cockpit. “Some operators are so caught up in iPad fever they’re not thinking about the complexities the units add to flight operations when they’re used in the cockpit,” he told AIN.
Per-seat charter broker BlackJet has developed an iOS app that allows members to book a seat on a private jet instantly from their iPhone or iPad. Together with this launch, it is providing a limited invite code (BLACKJETIPHONE5000) that can be used to request a membership. BlackJet seat service is currently available in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and South Florida. Service to Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas and Seattle will be added this year.
Flying with iOS and Android moving-map and flight-planning apps has become common in cockpits worldwide, and Sporty’s Pilot Shop vice president of product development John Zimmerman knows firsthand that even with an intuitive touchscreen interface, flying apps can be complicated. That’s why Sporty’s announced during Sun ’n Fun 2013 that it has developed training courses to teach pilots the intricacies and the tricks for flying with tablets.
Web Manuals Sweden has launched its Web Manuals Reader for the iPad on the Apple App Store. The EASA-compliant Web Manuals Reader provides instant access to all relevant manuals, documents, notices and forms. Users can navigate large documents using visual chapter overviews while smart modules facilitate cross-reference links and revision highlights. Documents are updated automatically through a controlled synchronization with the Web Manuals application, which allows easy and efficient writing and publishing of aviation manuals.
Fuel Bidder, a new Delaware-based software provider, has launched Fuelbidder.com, a jet fuel marketplace application it says will help aircraft operators find the lowest jet fuel price at airports around the world. According to the company, the free app allows users to request pricing from hundreds of suppliers. Registered users input their uplift date, airport, preferred FBO, estimated fuel volume and a deadline by which they would like to receive all final price offers. The app will then send the request to each registered fuel supplier at the destination airport.