Many iPad pilots have been asking for in-flight weather on their favorite apps, but the options so far have been pretty scarce. Until now, weather receivers have required either a lot of wires or a monthly XM Weather subscription.
Today saw the introduction of an impressive new option, and it is both portable and subscription-free. At Sun ‘n Fun, Sporty’s launched the Stratus, a portable weather receiver specifically made for the iPad. It combines an ADS-B and GPS receiver into a single unit that wirelessly streams NEXRAD radar, text weather, TFRs and aircraft position to the popular ForeFlight Mobile app for iOS devices. The device retails for $799 and does not require a monthly weather subscription.
This is a totally portable device, so it requires no installation. Features include:
- Built-in eight hour battery
- Internal WAAS GPS receiver
- Internal ADS-B antenna
- WiFi connection to the iPad
- Single button operation
The unit receives the full suite of available ADS-B weather products: NEXRAD radar, METARs, TAFs, SIGMETs, AIRMETs, PIREPs, TFRs, and winds aloft. ADS-B is a ground-based network, so pilots should be sure to check the coverage map for their local area. The entire US should be covered by ADS-B by late 2013.
Stratus also includes a built-in WAAS GPS receiver that provides high-quality position information, so ForeFlight’s map page becomes a powerful navigator. Pilots can overlay flight plans on VFR sectional and IFR enroute charts, and geo-referenced approach plates are an option. The moving map page can be configured to show a variety of information, from flight plan route to groundspeed to ETA.
And here’s a convenient feature: the WiFi connection allows multiple iPads to connect to Stratus. This should be valuable for two-pilot crews to view weather on separate iPads.
Sporty’s has released a video demo that shows the Stratus in action:
For more information on Stratus, or to order, visit sportys.com/stratus. The unit is expected to ship April 23.