One of the features of Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” keynote was that they discussed how the iPad is being applied in different fields. One such usage is with pilots in their cockpits. Instead of carrying around paper versions of documents like flight manuals and charts, pilots are starting to use the iPad to view these documents, replacing heavy books with the far lighter and more portable iPad. But how exactly are these people doing this? One such app that caters to pilots wishing to replace paper documents in the cockpit is Aeronautical Charts.
This app allows for the display of charts in a variety of formats on the iPad; the app is universal, so it will work on the iPhone and iPod touch in case charts need to be viewed on a smaller device. The app claims to support over 50 file formats, from various image file formats, office formats, along with TIFF and PDF files. Charts can either be loaded in through iTunes Connect, or the app can sync up with Dropbox. It only uses Dropbox for downloading files, it will not alter the files on the server in any way.
Now, some of these charts can be very large files, not just in file size but in sheer resolution, due to the detail that these charts need to have. In this case, the app can pre-render files in order to make them easier to view through the app. This can either be done through Aeronautical Charts itself, with support for multitasking for continuing the process in the background while other apps are used, or through a Mac App Store app that can prerender files for use through the app.
For pilots, this app could prove to be invaluable, and can help make those iPads be usable for both Flight Control as well as flight control! Corporate Smalltalk’s web page for Aeronautical Charts features more info and helpful hints for using the app, as well.