Which iPad model is best for AvPlan EFB?

Short answer:

If you fly aircraft with roomy cockpits:  

iPad Air WiFi+Cellular 64 GB 

If you fly aircraft with confined cockpits:  

iPad Mini 5 WiFi+Cellular 64 GB


Detailed answer:

We recommend a WiFi+Cellular iPad. These models have a built-in GPS chipset, were the 'WiFi Only' iPads do not include a GPS system at all. If you do purchase a 'WiFi Only' unit, you'll need to purchase an external GPS (usually Wifi, but sometimes Bluetooth) to provide in-flight moving-map capabilities.

NOTE: You do not require a data SIM to be installed for the GPS to function (although a data SIM is useful for updating weather forecasts etc when away from WiFi Access).

AvPlan itself will need ~3 GB of space if you're only downloading one single area (without Synthetic Vision). If you do not intend to download more than one area, nor store any music and/or video on it and just use your iPad as an EFB, then a 16GB device can be enough if you're very careful.  To give you enough space so you don't have to worry too much, a 32GB minimum is preferred.

Choosing between iPad, iPad Mini or iPad 12" Pro is a personal decision.  Most of the time, the choice of screen size comes down to ergonomics of the cockpit(s) you expect to fly in.  Ensure that the physical size of your iPad works well in the space – the last thing you’d want is your tablet getting in the way of an important procedure/switch/dial/lever/control column.

Make sure you are also aware of the rules regarding EFB mounting in your country.

Minimum requirement for iOS

iOS 11 is required for AvPlan version 8.x.

AvPlan version 9.x requires at least iOS 13


Australian pilots, please note:

In Australia, phones (even the new 'plus' models) are not considered a suitable backup device by CASA.  You certainly can, however, use AvPlan EFB on a phone for convenient pre-flight preparation; flight planning, plan submission, weather/NOTAM self-briefing, etc.


A Note on tethering non-GPS (WiFi only) iPads to iPhones

iPhone to iPad tethering will not provide an iPad with GPS position.

AvPlan works by requesting the operating system on your iPad to provide location services; a GPS-enabled iPad will return an accurate location when requested. However, if the iPad decides that the location information it is receiving is not of sufficient quality (because it cant see enough GPS satellites, for example), it will not pass location data to AvPlan, or to any other app.

When location data is being provided by a GPS inside the iPad, this signal will generally be of high quality and will will be rapidly updated. But, when you are tethering to a phone, location information provided by the phone is only sent sporadically in between all the other tasks happening on the iphone and iPad (like sharing the internet). The data signal is consequently poor and generally insufficient to provide a continuous location data to the iPad.

It can therefore appear that tethering for a location signal is working. Bit it It won’t work for long, and the transfer of location data will typically fail more often than it succeeds, especially when you start moving! Hence tethered location data is simply not accurate enough to be useable.

If you have a WiFi only iPad, then to get a GPS location you will need a dedicated external GPSreceiver to connect to your iPad. A number of these are listed on the AvPlan-EFB website noted at the top of this section.

Also note that the external GPS must be talking directly to the iPad. Connecting it to a tethered iPhone will not solve the above problem.

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