Did you ever wish your iPad could interface with your radio stack, or, better yet, the Primary Flight Display (PFD) in your aircraft instrument panel? The engineers at Aspen Avionics know how you feel. Better yet, they're making it happen. With launch partners ForeFlight, Honeywell, Jeppesen, PS Engineering, Sporty's Pilot Shops, Seattle Avionics and a host of others, Aspen Avionics introduced the Connected Panel concept of connectivity technology at AirVenture 2011.
"It's hardware, yes, but software, too," explained Brad Hayden, vice president of marketing for the company. "You can plan your flight easily on your iPad, and then, when you get to the airplane and fire up, the iPad, through our Connected app system, wirelessly transmits your flight plan to the Aspen PFD/MFD system. During the flight you can use your iPad or iPhone or other portable device to program radio frequencies and see them instantly tune on your panel, or drag and drop your flightpath to avoid an area of weather and the change is noted immediately on the Aspen and your GPS."
The technology can record inflight data for further analysis, help you automatically fill out pilot and aircraft flight logs, and more possibilities, all afforded through the open architecture of the software and the imagination of the app designers. Connected Panel includes hardware, software and application components that provide two-way wireless communications between panel avionics and personal smart devices to streamline flight-related activities. This technology is enabled via Aspen’s Evolution Flight Displays. Initial applications are in development for Apple iOS and Android platforms.The first Connected Panel hardware and software system will list for under $2500. It will be available for installation from Aspen’s authorized dealer network by the end of 2011. Aspen’s Connected Pilot app, designed for the iPad, will be available at the iTunes store.