New Stratus ADS-B receivers unveiled

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ADS-B receivers, once a poorly-understood technology, are now a must-have for many pilots, delivering in-flight weather, traffic and GPS position to popular navigation apps. We’ve seen them used as panel replacements in vintage taildraggers and also as everyday assistants for Gulfstream pilots. As the popularity of these devices has grown, so have the options. This week, one of the most popular brands announced an upgraded family of products with the introduction of the Stratus 1S and 2S.

Stratus 1S and 2S ADS-B receivers
Pilots can now choose from two Stratus models – 1S and 2S.

The two new Stratus models are evolutions of the popular Stratus 2 receiver, developed by the team of Appareo (hardware), ForeFlight (software) and Sporty’s (sales and support). While they have the same core features and use the same basic case as the previous model, Stratus 1S and 2S offer improved performance in almost every way. Upgrades include better ADS-B reception, faster GPS lock-on, improved AHRS calibration and even better thermal protection with a sealed battery and a built-in fan. They also make use of the new USB Type C power connector, found on the new MacBooks from Apple, to offer a more rugged and low profile plug. Of note, it’s reversible, so it should be easier to plug in Stratus in the cockpit without looking directly at the port.

The new Stratus receivers also have an optional WiFi security setting, allowing pilots to hide the WiFi network name or add a password to it. This option, plus new software that automatically checks for potential hacking of Stratus, is particularly important for airline and corporate pilots, who are increasingly flying with iPads and ADS-B receivers. Now they can have a more secure connection.

Cabin Altitude Advisor
The pressure altitude sensor in Stratus 2S enables ForeFlight’s Cabin Altitude Advisor.

Stratus 2S also adds a built-in pressure altitude sensor. This enables a real-time view of your airplane’s pressure altitude (at 29.92″ Hg) in ForeFlight, via a Maps page instrument. It also powers ForeFlight’s Cabin Altitude Advisor, which warns you when the cabin altitude exceeds 12,000 ft. or 25,000 ft. This is a helpful reminder to check your oxygen in a non-pressurized airplane, and even better in a pressurized airplane. If your cabin altitude is climbing above 12,000 ft., something is definitely wrong.

Stratus 1S is a great option for VFR pilots who don’t need the backup attitude indicator. At $549, it’s among the least expensive weather receivers you can buy, and includes some nice features typically found on higher end units. Among these are a built-in fan to keep it cool and Stratus Replay, which allows you to turn off the iPad screen to save battery life without missing any ADS-B weather information. When you turn the iPad back on, information is automatically sent over. It also includes single band traffic and a WAAS GPS.

ForeFlight synthetic vision
Stratus 2S also includes a built-in AHRS to drive ForeFlight’s synthetic vision display.

Stratus 2S is the new flagship model, with basically every feature you can find on a portable ADS-B receiver: subscription-free weather, dual band ADS-B traffic, WAAS GPS and a built-in attitude heading reference system (AHRS) for backup attitude and synthetic vision. Stratus 2S also includes an automatic flight data recorder, which logs position, altitude, pitch, bank and the new pressure altitude data. This can be stored as a ForeFlight track log or replayed in Google Earth or CloudAhoy.

Both units are also designed to work with Appareo’s forthcoming Stratus ESG transponder, a fully compliant ADS-B Out solution that includes a WAAS GPS position source. This meets the FAA’s 2020 mandate, and makes the traffic picture in ForeFlight much better. Stratus ESG is scheduled to be certified in early 2016.

Stratus 1S and 2S begin shipping next week, and will be on display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh from July 20-26. Both receivers will require ForeFlight version 7.2, due out in the next week or two. For more information, visit sportys.com/stratus.

You can watch a video demo below:

18 COMMENTS

  1. Of course I am surprise since I just received my now “OLD” Stratus. I asked your rep when I ordered it if any changes were on the horizon and was told a very clear “No.” I find that impossible to understand that my equipment is obsolete and no offer for exchange….

    • We are always working on new products (literally – Stratus 3 is probably in the works already), but it’s hard to know when projects be finalized and hit the market.

      A Stratus 2 is hardly obsolete though – it has all the core features of the new 2S, and will be supported for years to come. There will even be a firmware update for Stratus 2 coming out this summer to add some features.

  2. Will the new Stratus ESG transponder work and be supported for my now 1 year old outdated stratus 2. Sure hope so as I was planing to install it. If not, I will be hard pressed to purchase any other Appereo products

  3. Similar to a previous poster, I was also told there were no expected near term model changes to the Stratus 2. Bought mine 2 months ago and just called to request an exchange for the 2S – was told they would not do an exchange since it was outside the 30 day return window. I understand they can’t exchange every Stratus 2 that was ever purchased, but 2 months seems like a pretty reasonable and short period of time to keep a happy customer. Very poor customer support IMO; will think twice about purchasing from Sportys in the future.

  4. I bought this shiny new iPad Air, then 4 months later Apple released the iPad Air 2 now I’m stuck with this piece of junk, obsolete brick and they won’t trade it in or give me my money back. I’m never buying Apple again.

  5. To those complaining about their devices becoming “obsolete,” I used to have the same attitude, but I asked myself this question, “Is my device still performing as advertised when I bought it?” The answer has always been yes. Technology changes quickly, and manufacturers are under no obligation to tell you not to buy the current version, because they are working on a newer, improved version. That chase never ends. 30 days is a generous return policy, I think. A Stratus 2 and an iPad Air are still viable, high performance devices, not obsolete bricks. One day, it will be time to upgrade. If you can’t wait, there are plenty of people eager to buy your older devices.

  6. I, too bought Stratus 2 three months ago and was specifically told by the rep that nothing new is coming out. At one point the sales person even mentioned that you will see a price drop as an indicator that replacement is coming. Very disappointed at how this is being handled. At least offer a trade up option.

    On a different note, please do yourself a favor and drop the “S”. You guys are not Apple and this is not an iPhone. The “S” cliche, overplayed and echoes the similar “doh! can’t believe after I just bought an iPhone and the new version is out”…but hey what do I know about marketing… 😉

  7. Just to echo a similar complaint. When I bought my Stratus I SPECIALLY asked if a new version was to be released soon. I got a resounding “no”.
    Only 3 weeks later the new version was released and I was not offered any trade in or explanation.
    I understand the marketing side of this discussion, but to be blatantly lied to damages my trust of Sporty’s. I have not purchased anything from them since.

  8. Does this technology package have worldwide applicability or just USA? Is Foreflight 7.2 coveridge only useful in USA?

  9. I too own a stratus 2. I highly recommend you offer an upgrade path for us Stratus 2 owners. Why can’t the 2 be sent in and upgraded to the 2s? I refuse to re-purchase another stratus for another 900 bucks. Corporate attitudes like this make me consider ditching Foreflight and stratus and going to the Garmin solution. I already have Garmin equipment in my airplane anyway.

    • That’s like asking why my 2012 Chevrolet can’t be sent back and upgraded to the 2015 model. Hardware changes, it’s a fact of life.

      I’ve got a Stratus 2 and I love it. I don’t feel cheated because they made some upgrades. I’ll keep flying with my 2 just like I’ll keep driving my Chevy.

      Keep the upgrades comin!

  10. well me too, I was told no new devices, now I’m concerned about safety, will the old stratus be a factor in a mid air, it’s a fact it’s slower. Bottom line, ok product, bad business practices. This is my last purchase from sportys.

  11. let me echo the negative comments about Sportys.
    Couple years ago i ordered a tool kit over the phone from Sportys rep. Told him i had a long, multistop trip coming up and wanted kit before going. I thought i had enough gift credit left over to cover the cost. Time passed and no kit before leaving. I called Sportys and rep said not enough credit so order was cancelled, and he as snotty to boot.They had my email and i had previously ordered with credit card but they didnt bother to contact me. I now shun Sportys if at all possible.
    John Davis

  12. I have the stratus 2, and have no plans on upgrading. It works just fine and as long as it is supported with the new software and firmware upgrades, why change? Just took a trip to the bahamas and the inflight weather this thing provides for free in conjunction with ATC is priceless. Just like apple, you do not have to upgrade every single time. To me, there is not enough different with the 2 and 2S to get anxious about upgrading. The reception may be getting faster with the 2S, but the 2 was pretty fast too. The iPad air is still a good iPad for flying, I personally still fly with an iPad mini 2 even though a version 3 has been out for while. I do not upgrade my avionics every time a new one comes out. In fact, my GNS 530 is still doing fine and is not obsolete because the 750 is out. my 2 cents.

  13. I have the Stratus 2 also and do plan on the upgrade to 2S

    8 months old, works great and will sell for 650.00.

Comments are closed.