At the 2014 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in, the team behind Stratus (Appareo, ForeFlight and Sporty’s) announced three new features for the popular ADS-B receiver. These upgrades are free, and are available as a part of ForeFlight version 6.0. Let’s take a look at what’s new.
Split screen attitude
Stratus’s built-in Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) has proven to be a popular feature with pilots, delivering backup attitude information to the iPad–complete with pitch, bank, groundspeed, track and altitude. For IFR pilots, this can be helpful for situational awareness and a legitimate worst case backup.
Now this data can displayed right in ForeFlight, with a glass cockpit-style split-screen view. The attitude indicator updates multiple times per second so it moves smoothly, and it can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. While Stratus’s automatic AHRS calibration works in most cases, ForeFlight offers options for manual adjustment right in the app.
With this feature, pilots can now view ADS-B weather, traffic, moving map and attitude all on the same screen.
Recently we reviewed different ways to extend iPad battery life, and determined that turning off the screen or turning down screen brightness had by far the biggest impact. This makes the new Stratus Replay feature a welcome addition. It nearly doubles the effective battery life of an iPad by allowing pilots to turn off the screen between uses.
When the screen is turned on again, Stratus automatically sends ForeFlight Mobile any ADS-B weather that was missed, including radar, METARs, TAFs and PIREPs. This is helpful on a long cross country, offering 6+ hour battery life for your iPad and Stratus. Stratus Replay also allows pilots to switch to another app (E6B, checklist, document viewer) without missing important weather data. Best of all, there’s nothing for the pilot to do–it’s completely automatic.
Animated radar adds an important safety feature for pilots flying in convective weather, allowing them to monitor the trend in NEXRAD radar images. By simply tapping the play button on ForeFlight’s map page, pilots can loop the previous 30 minutes of both regional and national radar and determine if a cell building or dissipating. Combined with Stratus Replay, animated radar offers a powerful decision-making tool. This feature has actually been available for a few months now, and works on Stratus 1 and 2. The split-screen attitude and Stratus Replay are only available on Stratus 2.
To access these new features, first download ForeFlight version 6.0, available in the App Store. Then, connect your iPad to Stratus, open ForeFlight and go to the Stratus Status page. From there, you can “Tap to update” the Stratus firmware (this video shows the update process). The update is free.
For more information, watch the video below or visit Sportys.com/Stratus.