At Oshkosh Redbird Flight Simulations released Cygnus, a product built by partner Bad Elf that is designed to spoof your iPad into thinking it is where your flight sim says you are instead of where you really are, allowing you to use popular navigation apps, like Jeppesen’s Mobile Flight Deck, ForeFlight’s Mobile Pro or Garmin’s Garmin Pilot as you fly the sim, allowing pilots to use their mobile device just as they would in the airplane.
The product is available in two forms, the Home Direct version, which goes for $199 that uses a cable to link your iPad and your computer. A professional model, Pro Wireless, costs $599. It uses a Bluetooth connection so you can wirelessly link the iPad to the simulator. Both models connect to a wide variety of flight simulation products, including X Plane, multiple versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator, Lockheed Martin’s flight sim engine and more. Cygnus is available directly from King Schools.
I’ve “flown” both models of Cygnus, and they work like a charm. On one test of the system that I did at Oshkosh AirVenture at Redbird’s exhibit, I decided to be funny and set the flight sim I was flying, a Redbird TD2, to take off from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, home to the Sun ‘n Fun fly-in. The iPad, which was still verifiably in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was fooled by Cygnus into thinking it was in Lakeland, and while we flew I used ForeFlight to follow by flight path, down to pinching and zooming into the moving map display and selecting “nearest” airports and their approach charts.
In addition to working with numerous flight simulation products, Cygnus works with every iPad app because the app has no idea that Cygnus is even part of the equation. It just thinks it is located where Cygnus is telling the iPad it’s located and functions completely normally.