Best mini iPad for VFR

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marakii
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Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by marakii » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm

Trying to find out what is the best mini iPad / android tablet for everyday VFR flying . Do you need cellular, wifi, etc.

Something that is ready to use with today’s gps apps and what are the famous or good apps out there.

I’ve heard about ForeFlight and wing x, garmin pilot.

Thanks in advance
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ShawnR
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Re: Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by ShawnR » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:57 pm

I think it depends on what type of flying you are doing . Most, from what I gather, use Foreflight and any device that will run it. A mini versus a full size ipad would depend on your needs, ie larger screen for vision issues? smaller for smaller aircraft. I know guys that use a phone and fly by it. that would drive me crazy, personally, I use a Samsung Tab A which is like an ipad mini. I have Flightplan Go on it and have monitored a flight from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg on it and it worked great. But for float flying, I use Canada Maps, which has all my waypoints, etc in it. Flew Winnipeg to Thunder Bay with it too and it worked great. I just have not taken the time to master FlightPlanGo.

But for serious pilots who want all the benefits of foreflight, then it comes back to what size you want. My understanding is with ipad devices, you are limited to what size memory you have when you purchase the device. With Android, you can change or add SD cards, so again, depends on your needs/wants. And memory versus software needs equates to performance.

Probably not much of a positive answer for you but maybe some info to mull over.

Good luck.
Cheers.
Shawn
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ShawnR
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Re: Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by ShawnR » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:59 pm

As to your question re Wifi or Cellular, no, those apps mentioned download and cache the maps. Even Google maps will allow you to download an area you will be going to. I used it this summer in Italy. Worked great.
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TailwheelPilot
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Re: Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by TailwheelPilot » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:22 pm

Not up on the latest, but mini iPads without cellular used to not have A n-built GPS so you needed an external antenna to get position information.
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Helno
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Re: Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by Helno » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:50 am

I have a mini 5 wifi only in a Cherokee

Before the mini 5 came out I had a mini3 cellular, I opted for the wifi with the upgrade because I rarely fly without an ADS-B receiver.

The wifi versions of the iPad do not have a GPS chipset so you will need some kind of external GPS feed. The cellular versions have a pretty good onboard GPS but cost about $200 more than the wifi version. You do not need to pay for cellular service for the GPS chipset to work.

An external GPS is a bit of a pain if you are moving between multiple different aircraft.

Flying with ADS-B IN will give you GPS as well as traffic(ADS-B only) and weather(US only) and is pretty cheap. A Stratux ADS-B receiver kit is ~$210 so not much more than the apple cellular cost.

As far as apps go there are many but only three provide Canadian charts. Foreflight, Garmin Pilot, Fltplan GO. Foreflight is by far the most popular but give them each a try before buying, if Fltplan GO is good enough then save your money and stick with it.
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Foregone
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Re: Best mini iPad for VFR

Post by Foregone » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:51 pm

I bought a refurbished ipad retina with cellular in 2014, and it still works great! I use flightplan go, which is a great free option for US & Canada charts, as well as the CAP, CFS, & AFD for the US. I found, for my purposes, that I like the size of the mini and had it mounted on a yoke mount.
Foreflight is definitely the superior app between the 2 as far as flight planning and user friendliness in my experience, but if you are looking to save money, flightplan go is still very useful and versatile.
Flightplan go even has the feature to put the plane on a taxi diagram or IFR approach plate, which is extremely useful for situational awareness taxiing around unfamiliar airports. (Foreflight also has this feature, but it an additional pro add-on)
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