The big bash for aviation fans, EAA AirVenture, has just started in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Among the static and flying displays of airplanes of all sizes, attendees can expect to see a lot of iPhones and iPads -- in the cockpits of many aircraft. Virginia-based Hunter Research and Utah-based Aerovisions International will be demonstrating a preview of iHUD Remote for iOS, an app that works with onboard sensors to creates a glass cockpit display on an iOS device.
What's a glass cockpit? Well, if you've peeked inside the cockpit of any modern aircraft you know how they're dominated by a set of large screens displaying the aircraft attitude, navigation and status information. Light aircraft have had to stay with old-technology electromechanical gauges due to the high cost of the new systems.
What iHUD Remote does is display attitude and heading information wirelessly beamed from hardware created by Levil Aviation. Levil's AHRS (attitude and heading reference system) weighs as little as 5 ounces and uses an ad-hoc Wi-Fi network to send engine, attitude, heading, and pressure information to the iOS device, where it is displayed with a simulated horizon and vehicle reference symbol. Speed, altitude, and vertical velocity ribbons are also displayed along with a rotating compass card, a slip/skid ball, and an accelerometer.
For devices with a rear camera, there's an augmented reality view that creates a true "heads up display." The iHUD system is not intended as a primary cockpit instrument, as it lacks FAA certification, but can be used as an educational tool for pilots and even an auxiliary or backup system. The iHUD app that the system is built upon is available on the App Store for US$5.99.
If you're at AirVenture in Oshkosh this week, drop by Hanger B, Booth #2125 to see the system in action at Levil Aviation's venue.