Even with all the capability in todays’s modern avionics and sophisticated iPad navigation apps, pilots of all experience levels still rely on the bulletproof functionality of the E6B flight computer. While E6Bs today typically take the form of a handheld computer or iPhone app, the core functionality still replicates that of the mechanical whiz wheel used by WWII pilots over 70 years ago. Having an E6B within close reach makes it easy to determine basic preflight planning items such as pressure/density altitude, or to determine the required rate of climb to meet published IFR climb gradients.
Sporty’s Pilot Shop has been in the business of manufacturing and selling E6B flight computers since the original mechanical version hit the catalog in the 1960s. It evolved into an electronic version in the 1980s, and then a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android around the 2000s. Today Sporty’s released an E6B version for the newest electronic platform, the Apple Watch, allowing pilots to quickly access the core functions of the E6B app right from their wrist.
The E6B watch app allows you to quickly compute 18 aviation conversions right from the watch. A menu displays a list of each of these conversions, and then presents a small keypad that allows you to enter your data. You can quickly convert Celsius to Fahrenheit or nautical miles to statute miles, for example. We found it especially useful on longer cross-countries to determine fuel required for the next leg while still en route, and then easily reference this amount on the watch when placing the fuel order at the FBO.
Like all Apple Watch apps, Sporty’s E6B for Apple Watch is included with the purchase of the iPhone/iPad app version. Get it here in the Apple app store: Sporty’s E6B Flight Computer.