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Kategorie: Pilot Gear and Reviews



Location: Just about anywhere on the face of the earth (or above)

I have a computer in my pocket that is more powerful than my desktop PC was just a few short years ago. It has changed my life, it has changed how I communicate, how I plan my day and what I pack when I go on a trip.

This little computer and it’s peers have nothing less but revolutionized flight planning, weather briefing and in flight navigation. If only they were online above the ground…

In flight connectivity is one of the big topics in aviation. Once only available for emergencies and heads of states, satellite communication in airplanes has become more and more common. First to connect executives in their flying board rooms and recently to enable you and me to stay connected on airline flights.

„IridiumGo“ on dash

With the new „IridiumGo“, in flight connectivity arrives at smaller General Aviation airplanes. The iridium company has been operating a satellite based phone network for many years. Since their launch, Iridium phones have been popular with aviators in remote areas. All of a sudden it was possible to get (limited) weather updates and to stay connected.

Iridium Next Satellite

The „IridiumGo“ is a small device that connects to the Iridium satellite data network and provides WiFi. So pilots and passengers can connect their smart phones and be online independent from and ground based infrastructure. The connection can be used for voice calls, messages, email as well as limited web browsing. On top of that, Iridium has opened the „Go“ for software developers. And I bet it won’t be long before your favorite digital flight bag on the iPad can interface directly to it for weather updates, NOTAMs and flight plan changes.

„IridiumGo“ satellite WiFi router

And your teenager on the back seat will be able to stay in touch with the ones left behind on the ground. ✈️

Garmin D2

Garmin D2

Boys like toys. And your average pilot has a hard time resisting  a good toy. The Garmin company knows this  – there is no other explanation for the recently announced “Garmin D2 Pilot Watch”.

A traditional pilot watches has large, illuminated hands, a stop watch and excessive amounts of bravado. But the “D2″ takes the term “Pilot Watch” to a new level entirely. It is a whole portable avionics suite with a wrist strap!

It features a bunch of useful functions. A barometric altimeter, a compass, various timers and – of course – GPS with moving map, airport directory and “nearest” feature. Basically everything you need to navigate after all other navigation aides in your airplane stopped working. And it even tells the time.

Discussing the usefulness of toys is always tricky and at times a bit unfair. But the “must have factor” for the average airplane geek is definitely high. And it will be available in time for Christmas, in case you are still looking for something for that special pilot in your life!

To be continued…

Garmin D2 pilot watch (Picture The Garmin Company)


(originally posted on October 20, 2013 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/garmin-d2/)