iHUD Much Cheaper Than True Glass Panels... But
It's Only For Show, For Now
Will there come a day when pilots will only need to plug an
iPhone into the panels of their small planes to go flying? Well...
probably not, though a new application presents a compelling
argument for that possible future.
Dubbed the iHUD, the $5.99 download turns the iPhone "into an
aerospace-inspired mobile Glass Cockpit," according to programmer
Aero Visions International -- which hastens to add the application
is merely for entertainment purposes, and is "not intended for
steering airplanes, helicopters, boats, motorcycles, and other
powered vehicles, and UFOs."
The app is indeed entertaining... particularly for pilot-types.
Utilizing the iPhone's GPS receiver and accelerometers, iHUD
presents a thoroughly realistic EFIS-like display of position,
attitude, attitude changes, track and acceleration.
"iHUD depicts an extraordinary graphic interface with a
simulated horizon and a vehicle reference symbol, dynamic speed,
altitude, and vertical velocity ribbons and digital display window,
rotating compass card with user selectable heading bug, slip/skid
ball, and an accelerometer (G-meter)," the company writes. "iHUD
offers a fantastic way to teach, see, and learn EFIS and partially
Alas, this isn't the $6 alternative to installing a Garmin G600
(starting price $30,000) in your Skyhawk. Apart from the size issue
-- sizewise, an iPhone EFIS would be proportional to a roughly
3/5-scale LSA -- there is a significant limitation to the current
iHUD version, as horizon information is gleaned only from the
accelerometers inside the iPhone.
"This means that the horizon does not display the earth horizon
as a reference of a vehicle in an accelerated attitude," Aero
Vision warns. "It will display the acceleration of the vehicle
only. Therefore, never ever use this version of iHUD for in-flight
operations to visualize attitude other than pitch and roll.
"We are currently studying the possibility to mathematically
model an algorithm to address this issue," the company
The application may also be downloaded to the iPod touch...
though without a GPS receiver, only basic attitude information and
G-force acceleration will be displayed.