The IFD540 panel-mount touch screen GPS/NAV/COM has been in development from Avidyne for several years now, and it’s looking promising that the company may hit the certification milestone within the next few months. The big appeal with the new GPS navigator is that it’s a drop-in replacement for the Garmin GNS530W, requiring literally only a few minutes for an avionics shop to install. In preparation for the product’s release, Avidyne recently released a new iPad app that allows pilots to simulate operation of the IFD540 right on the iPad.
The app includes a database of airports and navigation data, allowing you to practice setting up flight plans, approaches and SIDs/STARs. Once a flight plan is entered, you can then use the simulator controls to specify an airspeed and heading to fly your entered route. A separate toggle turns on an internet-fed weather feature that simulates and overlays WSI datalink weather on the map. The controls are intuitive, and the fact that the IFD540 incorporates a touch screen lends itself well to the iPad’s touch interface. The app is still in its initial release version, so expect to see a few bugs and crashes from time to time.
There are 2 versions of the app available in the app store, one with a US database and the other international. Both are free and can be downloaded here:
This new app from Avidyne isn’t the first avionics training app in the app store, and joins a collection of several others that primarily focus on Garmin avionics. These include the Garmin GTN 750 simulator app, and Garmin G1000 Checkout Course from Sporty’s, which includes a G1000 PC simulator.