At Sun 'n Fun this week, Sporty's Pilot Shop introduced Stratus, the first completely wire-free weather receiver for the iPad. The small $799 device streams information from GPS and ADS-B with no monthly subscription costs. The unit collects NEXRAD radar, text weather, TFRs and aircraft position, and wirelessly streams that data to the popular ForeFlight Mobile app for iOS devices. "Stratus delivers exactly what pilots have been asking for -- a simple, smart and subscription-free way to view in-flight weather on their iPad," said Sporty's Vice President John Zimmerman. "It's incredibly easy to use, with just one button and virtually no setup."
"The internal battery lasts for eight hours without charging, which matches the iPad duration," Foreflight CEO Tyson Weihs told AVweb in the busy Foreflight booth at the show. "The two units -- the iPad and Stratus -- work really well together." The unit can be placed on the glare shield with no need for plugging in, and it's easy to take with you and move from airplane to airplane. Multiple iPads can connect to the unit via wifi. The ADS-B signal is available over most of the U.S., and an external antenna option can expand its range. Sporty's, ForeFlight, and Appareo Systems collaborated in production of the Stratus unit.