Every seat's a window seat on BruceAir
I’ve written about aviation since the late 1970s for magazines, aviation-oriented newspapers, and other media. I’m now adding product reviews to BruceAir, LLC, which I’ll post on this and related pages.
You can find my pilot reports and reviews of avionics, GPS units, and aviation-related software on the Aviation Writing page here at BruceAir.
Jeppesen is gradually releasing a series of new VFR+GPS paper charts that, according to the company, "offer a fresh perspective on what a VFR chart should be with intuitive symbols and colors, better coverage areas and an emphasis on GPS navigation."
For a comparison of the new charts with conventional sectional and terminal area charts, see my review here at BruceAir.com.
CH Products has updated its line of flight yokes with the Eclipse, an all-in-one yoke that includes an innovate solution to the "rudder problem" and several new features that put scores of customizable controls at your fingertips.
My review of the Eclipse is here.
Many FBOs have computers in the flight-planning room, so even when you’re away from home, you can take care of preflight business via the Web. But not all airports offer such services—the FBO office may not even be open.
Cell phone service, however, is available at most airports, and thanks to products like WingX from Hilton Software LLC, all of the online aviation-related services I rely on are available through a Web-enabled PDA or Smartphone.
To learn more about WingX, see the detailed review here at BruceAir.
I’ve finally found a good solution for holding my portable GPS secure in different airplane cockpits. You can read my review of the RAM Mounting Systems suction holder on this page at BruceAir.
If you need “real” controls to get the Gestalt of virtual flying, you now have an additional option from Saitek: the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System and Pro Flight Throttle Quadrant. These new units are the first competition for the CH Products FlightSim Yoke and CH Throttle Quadrant at the general-consumer price point. You can read my virtual flight test here at BruceAir.
The basic design of the computer joystick hasn’t changed much in many years. Developed as multi-purpose devices to work with many types of games, not just flight simulations, models available from different manufacturers have converged on a core configuration that offers a set of basic functions, including:
The new Saitek Aviator, however, also offers a unique dual-throttle arrangement that provides functionality usually missing from compact, single-component flight control units—and it’s available for $40 or less.
More sophisticated (and expensive) controls and accessories are available from other manufacturers, including: