Aspen Connected Panel

Aspen’s Connected Panel: Cockpit Planning through Wi-Fi

Apple’s iPad and other tablet computers have proven to be a tremendous tool for both preflight and inflight planning and navigation. Aspen Avionics has advanced the cockpit iPad to a higher level, with its Connected Panel interface.

Think of Connected Panel as the first step toward wireless avionics integration. Connected Panel uses the CG100 Wi-Fi gateway, which connects the Apple tablet to Aspen’s multi function display.  The CG100 gateway is a compact, remote WLAN transceiver, which is mounted under the instrument panel, in a bulkhead or any area that can accommodate the one-pound transceiver.  For connecting with the iPad, the CG100 has a Wi-Fi antenna, which is generally mounted inside the cabin.

Connected Pilot is the first in a series of planned Connected Panel products. The package includes the CG100 hardware and interfacing software that connects Apple is devices to the Aspen MFD. The CG100 gateway can receive and store data from almost any panel-mounted GPS navigator. Additionally, Connected Pilot can enter and synchronize flight plans between Garmin GNS400W and GNS500W series navigators and forthcoming Connected Panel-enabled flight planning apps.

Sending data from the iPad to the Aspen gateway is easy— compatible apps, including ForeFlight Mobile, have a single button command for loading the data to the Aspen MFD. From there, the pilot can send the data—which for now is a flight plan—into the Garmin GNS navigator. The data flows both ways. For example, stored flight plans in the GNS navigator can be sent into the iPad, for overlay on ForeFlight.

The growing list of participating avionics and aviation app manufacturers is proof that Connected Panel is a concept with legs. The short list of committed partners includes Jeppesen, Bendix/King, AvConnect, JP Instruments, Hilton Software, ForeFlight, PS Engineering, Seattle Avionics and Sporty’s, to name a few.

Aspen’s Connected Pilot package has a list price of $2499 and requires the Aspen 500 or 1000-series MFD. For more information visit www.aspenavionics.com