Aspen Avionics Brings the iPad to the Cockpit

Recently, Aspen Avionics made an announcement about a new product: the Connected Panel, which will wirelessly connect an iPad to an aircraft’s avionics, allowing pilots to use the iPad to control flight systems like tracking and tuning into radio frequencies.

We’ve heard a lot of news about iPads replacing training manuals and being used by several airlines for flight related record keeping such as planning and chart reading. But before the Connected Panel by Aspen Avionics, pilots were not able to use their iPads directly with aircraft control systems.

With Connected Panel, the Aspen Avionics CG100 box is installed behind the plane’s panel. Using the hardware in the box, which also includes a USB port and flash memory storage, the iPad can connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. When the iPad has been connected with the box, the iPad can be used to control the onboard systems of the plane.

An app will work with the panel. The Aircraft Manager app will download flight hours and performance data, which will be sent to fleet managers. In addition, Aspen Avionics has entered into partnerships with several aviation companies that are going to release Connected Panel applications of their own.

The first Connected Panel product, the Connected Pilot includes the CG100 box, plus the Aircraft Manager app by AvConnect. The Connected Pilot is scheduled for release at the end of 2011 and will retail for approximately $2500.

Connected Panel will be marketed towards single or twin engine propeller planes and helicopters, but Aspen Avionics believes that eventually, the technology could be available on larger commercial airplanes as well. Check out the video below to see how it works, and visit the website for more information.

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