The Bad Elf Pro GPS has been one of the most popular iPad accessories in aviation for a few years now, especially with turbine operators. The combination of a very high performance GPS receiver, a built-in screen and outstanding battery life made it our top pick in the crowded wireless GPS field. The company recently introduced the new Pro+ model, which is the most full-featured GPS we’ve seen for the iPad.
The Pro+ has the same basic design as the Pro, with a waterproof case and built-in screen–it has a solid feel and fits nicely in your hand. While maintaining this small size, Bad Elf has increased the battery life on the Pro+ to 35 hours, by far the best we’ve ever seen for a wireless GPS. For many pilots, charging the Pro+ will be something you do every other month, a major benefit.
The latest model also adds compatibility with Russia’s GLONASS satellite constellation. This works side-by-side with the traditional GPS system, and the main benefit is faster lock-on time. There are simply more satellites to choose from, so your position can be calculated faster (sometimes in just a couple of seconds). We’ve seen excellent performance with the Bad Elf, even in jets with thick, heated windshields.
Like the original Pro, the Pro+ includes a data logging capability, in this case up to 200 hours of position data. This data can be imported into a number of third party apps for reviewing your flights, including Google Maps. To make this easier, this new model includes USB connectivity to PC or Mac computers for fast data transfer.
Finally, the Pro+ features a built-in barometer so you can see an accurate pressure altitude readout. While the GPS would never be used as a backup flight instrument, the barometer will offer a much more accurate number. At this point, we’re not aware of any aviation apps that support this feature, but it could be used in the future.
The Bad Elf Pro+ is available for $249.99 and is compatible with all iOS devices and every aviation app we’ve ever used, including ForeFlight Mobile, Garmin Pilot and WingX Pro7. It includes a 12/24V cigarette lighter charger, charging cable and a removable neck lanyard. The original Bad Elf Pro will remain available, at $149.99.