Sporty's Expands Electronic Offerings

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Sporty's is keeping up with the electronic age, now offering a mobile version of its pilot-training video series that will run on smartphones, an iPhone E6B app featuring 23 aviation functions, and its first downloadable e-book. The mobile video series will play either on a 3G/4G network or via wifi, said Sporty's vice president John Zimmerman at Sun 'n Fun on Thursday. It costs an extra $49.95 for buyers of the online training series. The E6B app will be available in a couple of weeks for $4.99, and the first e-book, Richard Collins' updated classic Air Crashes, will cost $9.99. "This is just the first of many e-books to come," Zimmerman said. He also offered a video sneak peak of a new product that will be introduced at Oshkosh: a hand-held unit that can probably do myriad things, but the video showed it operating as a back-up ILS after the avionics went down during a flight.

Sporty's founder Hal Shevers also offered an update on the company's partnership in EAA's Young Eagles program. To help with the Next Step project to keep kids involved after their first flight, Sporty's is offering a free logbook to each new Young Eagle. The company has also been offering free access to its online private pilot course to Young Eagles, and about 2,500 of them have participated in the first year of the program. Those who complete the course can also get an endorsement to take their FAA knowledge test. "My mission in life is to get everyone to take their first flying lesson," said Shevers, "and I'm extremely happy with what we've done in the last year."