As iPad apps have become more sophisticated–growing from moving maps and in-flight weather to backup attitude indicators and even engine gauges–some pilots have started building their iPads right into the panel. While a tablet should never be used for primary instruments, there’s no denying they can add safety and convenience when used properly. We’ve seen a number of experimental airplanes that have little more than a radio and two iPads for the panel.
To support those pilots who want a panel-mounted iPad, flyPad has introduced their new panel mount, a flush mount docking system for the iPad Mini, Air and iPhone 5/5S. The iOS device snaps in securely but is easily removed when necessary. One of the best features of the flyPad is its low profile–there are no bulky attachment points or thick plastic fairings. Once it’s installed, the panel has a very clean, glass panel look.
To install the flyPad, simply cut an opening in the panel, using the included template. Then screw the cradle to the front of the panel and insert the iPad. There are cutouts for both power and audio cables, so it’s easy to keep the battery fully charged or receive audio alerts from your favorite app.
Installing the flyPad in an experimental airplane is a snap, but for pilots flying certified airplanes it will take a little more work. In general, it can be done by an avionics shop with a field approval. This can vary from FSDO to FSDO, so check with your shop first.
The mounts range from $179 to $219 in price. For more information on the flyPad, visit Sporty’s website.