There comes a time in every glider pilot’s life when he or she realises that it’s time to go technical and take advantage of the various electronic aids that can help make your flying more enjoyable and efficient. Very often this coincides with completing your Bronze exams/Cross-country endorsement and that feeling of spreading your wings and moving on to more adventurous and longer flights away from your home airfield.
I’ve been using a Hewlett-Packard PDA up until now but I’ve always felt it was a compromise – screen too small and not particularly bright in a sunny cockpit. Plus, to me, it’s bodging an old system to make it fit a task it wasn’t really meant for. The only thing that has stopped me moving on to something more modern was the price.
Now, however, there is an option that fits my technical and price criteria – GliderGuider. GliderGuider has been developed by a chap called Allan Arthurs who, apart from being a glider pilot and instructor, is a bit of a technical wizard. He has used his various skills and knowledge areas to come up with what is undoubtedly the most flexible and useable portable glider navigation system available today.
The specifications of the GliderGuider are absolutely ideal:
- 5-inch screen – big enough to see properly but small enough not to be intrusive in a glider cockpit;
- Seriously bright – the brightness of the screen is truly impressive and puts a PDA to shame;
- Flexible – GliderGuider will run all Windows Mobile gliding programs, including See You Mobile, LK8000 and XCSoar. Plus, if you’re a power pilot (or just use it because it’s a fantastic program) SkyDemon and Memory Map.
- Technical – Allan has spent a lot of time working on the software of GliderGuider to make sure that it works properly for the glider pilot and has put a lot of thought into the specification side of things too. It will work with pretty much any input/output device you can throw at it and he has done numerous tests to ensure that accuracy and functionality are correct.
- Price – at £240 (plus shipping) you really can’t argue!
In addition to all that, he will configure the whole thing to your requirements!
As you may have guessed, I’m sold on this new device but don’t take my word for it – go and have a look for yourself at GliderGuider.net.
(And before you ask – no, I’m not being paid to write this!)