Pilatus Offers WiFi Connected Panel
Aspen Avionics has been offering a wifi-connected panel interface in the aftermarket for about a year now, and this week Pilatus announced it will offer its own version of the system as a factory option or retrofit for its PC-12 NG turboprops. Pilatus worked with Aspen, Jeppesen and Honeywell to create four customized applications designed for the PC-12 operators' needs. One app will enable the pilot to wirelessly upload chart, navigation and terrain databases to the cockpit. Pilots also can create a flight plan on an iPad or other tablet and wirelessly upload it to the PC-12 NG flight deck. The other two apps provide wireless downloads of maintenance data and a moving map that can show passengers their current location and ETA on their own mobile device. The system can be installed at a retail price of about $16,500, according to Pilatus.
The flight-plan uploads currently work only with the aircraft on the ground, but in-flight connectivity is in the works, according to the Pilatus website. Honeywell also has posted some details about the system on their website (PDF). AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a look at some of Aspen's wifi products at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las Vegas in March; click here for his video report.