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4 Answers

iPad help….

Asked by: 1562 views Aircraft Systems

I am an older instrument rated pilot trying to keep up with technology. I want to get an Ipad and start using Foreflight or Wingx. Can I get by with an Apple 1st Gen w/ WiFi?? All I will use IPad for is this. Is speed or memory a big deal?

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4 Answers



  1. Aaron on Oct 27, 2013

    it won’t really matter which generation you have, as long as your app I’d compatible. so check that first. also, you’ll want a lot of storage for the charts and downloads. I currently run a third gen 64GB with Wi-Fi. I think the 3G connectivity is garbage. save your $100 and buy an external Bluetooth GPS made for Aviation like bad elf if you’re looking at that. also, FltPlan.com app is free and has all current charts. best all around aviation app for the value in my opinion. I highly suggest it. I’m currently running Garmin’s app because I get a free subscription through my school, but FltPlan.com never steered me wrong.

    buying an iPad was the single best investment I’ve made for my flying to date. it’s a great organizer of all those charts, and has already saved me a mountain of cash over paper charts. you’ll love it.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Oct 27, 2013

    The Generation 1 iPad is pretty much at the end of its useful life for any of the EFB aviation apps. While the basics continue to work in Gen 1, many of the more advanced features require either at least an IPad 2 or iOS 6+ (which doesn’t work on the Gen 1). Unless you got one really cheap so you could play with it a bit and toss it out, I wouldn’t bother.

    For the time being the Gen 2 is still pretty useful (the Mini is a Gen 2 model) but at this point, unless you were going Mini, I’d go at least with an iPad 3.

    Internal GPS capability being sufficient is one of those arguments with people’s experience differing. If you think you will want to have 3G capability (which you need to have an internal GPS), you’ll probably want it taht way. Personally, I’m on my second WiFi only iPad with an external GPS and have found very few situations in which that wasn’t enough for me. But that’s a true YRMV situation.

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  3. Sam Dawson on Oct 28, 2013

    Adding to what Mark wrote. I currently use an iPad 1. While I can update and download charts I can no longer get the new Foreflight updates. In addition, my iPad is unstable when using Foreflight and some other software. Crashes are not uncommon- an annoyance for me but something that could be dangerous for a lower time pilot at the wrong time.

    The iPad 1 is a good product but when it came out no one knew the depth and variety of apps that would be produced for it or the things it would be asked to do. It is being “asked” to do things now that it just can’t handle.

    Mine is a 3G and I did have occasional issues with the internal GPS so I got an external GPS. No more issues. I did not have a cell plan, but changes that. Nice to be able to file flight plans, download weather, etc when there is no wifi.

    Finally I highly recommend Foreflight pro for instrument pilots and students. You will be amazed at the SA (situational awareness), you gain by having a blue dot on charts.

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  4. jim watkins on Oct 28, 2013

    Thanks so much for your input guys. You are a big help ! !

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