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  1. #1
    75+ Posting Member Leo Bodnar's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Apple iPad goes on sale in Europe today.

    Does anyone want to have a go at creating an App that would work with MSFS or X-Plane?
    I can easily see a commercial potential if used as MFDs in modern glass cockpit replicas.

    Height:9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
    Width:7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
    Depth:0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
    9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
    1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)

    It's a powerful computing platform with internal graphics processing. All you need to do is feed it navigational data and take the touch outputs out (if needed.)


  2. #2
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    I doubt this is feasable. The main problem is the closed architecture and lack of connectivity. A better option would be the shuttle X50, which is similar but better suitable. It's a full featured 64 bit PC inside a touchscreen; runs any OS you want and includes all important connections, like WIFI, gigabit lan and USB. And it costs much less too. We're running one as an instructor station inside the cockpit. Even has a VGA port to run a second display next to it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    I think it would be a good deal easier to use one as an Electronic Flight Bag, provided all the material was PDF or HTML-based. Put the data on your PC, WiFi it up, and use Safari as the interface. You can overlay sectional charts (albeit out-of-date ones) on Google Earth, for which a client is available for iPad.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Overlay-Secti...n-Google-Earth

    The problem with using it as an MFD is not just writing the client software itself (the rules about how much local storage you can use and exactly what you can do with the app will probably make that impractical) but also getting it to talk to MSFS / XPlane. You'd have to write a server talking to FSUIPC/XPUIPC to run on the PC side which exposed a Web service that the app could call to get data and push back commands. Not by any means impossible, but relatively complex and probably a bit laggy even over a WiFi connection.

    You could jailbreak the iPad and gain more control; you could then look at writing the MFD software using Flash CS5 or one of the cross-compilers which would likely make life easier. But if you wanted it to run on non-jailbroken iPads you'd have to get the software approved and onto the app store, which means a whole world of pain (and coding in Objective-C, which itself is enough to make a sane man want to cry).

    An interesting idea, certainly. If (as I suspect will eventually happen) someone ports Linux to iPad then it might become a better platform for this sort of thing. Otherwise one of the upcoming devices from other manufacturers might be a better bet.

    NH

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Not quite an MFD, but something allready exists for X-plane:

    http://www.skycharts.net/?page_id=228

    just look for skycharts(pro) in the appstore.

    No MFD, but still a nice app as EFB

    Not linked to fs or xplane, but a great app for those who fly for real:

    WingX - http://www.hiltonsoftware.com/

    A iPad based EFB.

    Stef
    Last edited by dnoize; 05-27-2010 at 09:13 AM.
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  5. #5
    75+ Posting Member Leo Bodnar's Avatar
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by neilh View Post
    The problem with using it as an MFD is not just writing the client software itself (the rules about how much local storage you can use and exactly what you can do with the app will probably make that impractical) but also getting it to talk to MSFS / XPlane. You'd have to write a server talking to FSUIPC/XPUIPC to run on the PC side which exposed a Web service that the app could call to get data and push back commands. Not by any means impossible, but relatively complex and probably a bit laggy even over a WiFi connection.
    For me the biggest attraction is its compact form-factor and great quality display. Unlike Shuttle X50 you can easily mount two iPads into the cockpit panel and have control buttons/rotaries installed very close to it to create visually integral installation.

    Yes, HTTP protocol transport is what I was thinking about as well. I guess 30-50 msec of delay would not matter much.
    I guess there is an upside to Apple's apps distribution: you have controlled distribution environment and reach to thousands of potential users.

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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Bodnar View Post
    For me the biggest attraction is its compact form-factor and great quality display. Unlike Shuttle X50 you can easily mount two iPads into the cockpit panel and have control buttons/rotaries installed very close to it to create visually integral installation.

    Yes, HTTP protocol transport is what I was thinking about as well. I guess 30-50 msec of delay would not matter much.
    I guess there is an upside to Apple's apps distribution: you have controlled distribution environment and reach to thousands of potential users.
    Agree that it's a nice form factor. I'm putting a couple of smaller (7") touch screens into my project as well as a tablet PC and certainly mounting is a challenge. The fantastic multi-touch screen on the iPad would be great in this context.

    Other than the depressing necessity of programming in Objective-C (which is enough to put me off the idea), I guess it's do-able. All of the map storage etc would need to be done on the PC and served back over HTTP too - you don't get much local storage per-app with the iPad.

    NH

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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Hi All,
    I know this is not exactly what u are looking for but interesting.

    http://nzff.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=11898&hl=ipad
    les

  8. #8
    150+ Forum Groupie flatlandpilot's Avatar
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    I heard rumors of using an IPad with X-Plane 10 wich maby will be relased around X-mas time this year.

    maby this is this working fast enough as a second (instrument) display ?



    Software developers Avatron, well known for their Air Sharing apps allowing users to drag & drop files between their Macs and iPhones/iPods like an external hard disk, are getting ready to release their newest app for iPad, Air Display, that lets you use the newly released Apple product as a 2nd monitor for your Mac.

    The app uses Wi-Fi to transmit video data between the Mac and the iPad, and there’s a System Preference pane that needs to be installed on the Mac in addition to the actual app itself on the iPad. The app also allows for the iPad’s touch screen to be used in addition to the Mac’s keyboard & mouse, so you can actually “click” on the iPad’s screen by touching it. Pretty neat!

    Air Display is expected to be submitted on the App Store next week at a price of $9.99. Lets hope this one gets through the approval process unlike the previously featured Wi-Fi Sync app we covered last month.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    I have written an tool for iPad ( works also on iPhone and iTouch). You can follow your flight on the device's map.

    http://itunes.apple.com/uk/app/fsxfo...377912125?mt=8

  10. #10
    300+ Forum Addict luisgordo's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Apple iPAD as an MFD?

    Now you can use the Instructor Station from iPad, using Air Display. Please follow the link and watch the demonstation video from one of our users:

    http://sites.google.com/site/luisgor...tructorstation

    Enjoy !!

    Best regards,
    Luis Gordo
    Luis Gordo
    Instructor StationTM - www.iStationGordo.com

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