An iPad Cockpit?

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ForeFlight Mobile, one of the most popular chart viewing and flight planning apps for the iPhone and iPad, now offers georeferencing -- a fancy term for showing where the aircraft is on approach charts and airport diagrams. The data for georeferencing has been in the software for some time, but not active because ForeFlight felt the internal GPS in the iPhone and iPad was too unreliable. ForeFlight's co-founder, Tyson Wells, said customer demand coupled with aftermarket GPS units from Bad Elf and GNS GmbH made this the right time for a change. In addition to position, GPS-derived altitude, groundspeed and track can be shown while viewing the approach plate.

Meanwhile, ForeFlight's leading competitor, WingX, is on the verge of some big changes of their own. WingX has had georeferenced approach charts and airport diagrams for the iPad for some time. Their new version, now in beta, will add what ForeFlight has long had: sectional and en route charts. This is in addition to a standard GPS moving map. Both ForeFlight and WingX have several other improvements in the new versions. Georeferencing comes at a premium price on either system. Foreflight with georeferencing is $149.99/year, compared to the $75/year standard plan. Standard plan users still get aircraft position on sectional or IFR en route charts, approach plates without aircraft position, flight planning, fuel prices, and internet-based weather. WingX is $199/year with georeferencing or $99/year without.