I spend a lot of my time installing and flying behind the latest in top end experimental avionics - full touch screen EFISs, advanced autopilots that will fly a coupled approach and make you coffee while doing it, and audio systems that rival a concert hall in capability and clarity. But there is another end of this business - the inexpensive yet capable end that can help folks who just want to fly get and stay in the game.
I have recently been experimenting with a compact little box from Talos Avionics called the Aeolus Sense. This small cube is a full ADAHRS – attitude and air data computer – that communicates with my iPad to give me a real-time six-pack of instruments to use as a backup to the big expensive panel – or as a primary panel in a small, simple airplane. Problems with glare and brightness aside (and these issues seem to vary widely from pilot to pilot and cockpit to cockpit), the iPad (or iPhone) can make a nice panel display for a VFR fun flyer. If I had an ultralight or no-electrical airplane, this would be a neat panel solution. Continue reading "The Inexpensive Glass Cockpit"