The Aspen EFD1000 electronic primary flight display (PFD) is one of the most popular aftermarket instrument upgrades for GA aircraft, allowing aircraft owners to add glass cockpit flight instruments right into the standard 6-pack configuration by replacing the attitude and heading indicators.
As with any new aircraft avionics system the equipment itself is only half of the equation. The other critical piece is training, and the FAA leaves the training component completely up to you for new avionics. Fortunately the iPad can be a big help here as you learn how to use these new systems, allowing you to study PDF versions of the pilot’s guide or download avionics video training apps.
The iPad’s touchscreen has has taken this mobile training to a new level by allowing app developers to create avionics simulators where pilots can interact directly with the device on the screen, with the goal to build repetition and muscle-memory using the actual controls of the installed hardware. The latest iteration of this is a new app that emulates the functions of the Aspen EFD1000 flight display.
After launching the Aviation Applications E1000 app you’ll see a high-resolution depiction of the EFD1000 PFD bezel and screen. You can interact with each of the buttons and knobs and see the result on the simulated display. This is very helpful when learning how to accomplish common tasks, like setting flight instrument bugs, configuring the HSI or changing preferences in the menu. It also includes simulated failure modes, to show the behavior when the attitude performance degrades or fails altogether.
It’s important to note that this is not a full flight simulator and the flight is essentially paused in an en route phase of flight, so you can’t set up custom headings, airspeeds or flight plans. That’s ok though, as the real value in this app is learning the action of each button so you’re not fumbling around in the airplane when flying with the real thing.
For a complete Aspen training solution to complement this emulator app check out the Flying the Aspen Evolution video course app for iPhone and iPad. This 90 minute program covers both the PFD and MFD versions of the Aspen Evolution system in detail and includes real-world IFR flight scenarios.
You can download these Aspen training apps from the iOS app store: