The Zulu 3 active noise-reduction headset from Lightspeed is hard to beat, with exceptional sound quality and extra features, such as Bluetooth, cellphone interface and auto-shutoff, plus supreme comfort, all for a price of some lesser headsets. The durability of the Zulu 3 sets its apart as well. It features a stainless-steel headband and Kevlar cable that can withstand years of abuse.
ForeFlight’s Scout is a compact, easy-to-use ADS-B receiver that transmits traffic information and subscription-free weather to the ForeFlight Mobile app. The more we fly with it, the more we like it, especially for the weather and information tools, such as Radar and graphical TFRs, that work so well in the app. To keep it simple there’s no battery, so throw a portable battery pack in the stocking as well.
A personal locator beacon can be inexpensive insurance that could save your life if you unexpectedly find yourself far from help. The ResQLink+ buoyant PLB from ACR Artex features a 406 MHz transmitter that can be picked up by satellite within seconds, an integrated GPS receiver to pinpoint your location for rescue personnel and an LED strobe light.
As the number of accessories pilots bring into the cockpit grows, the need for ever more innovative mounting solutions does too. The MyGoFlight Sport mount is infinitely flexible, allowing you to position your iPad, GPS navigator or other portable device exactly where you want it. The high-strength suction cup can be mounted to almost any smooth, flat surface.
Flight Outfitters has introduced a seriously cool survival knife for pilots that could come in handy in a forced landing away from civilization. It features a two-in-one blade with saw, seat-belt cutter, glass-breaker tool and superbright LED flashlight just above the blade. The durable rubber handle is comfortable, and the belt clip means you can always keep it close by.
Five-hundred special-edition Breitling Navitimer watches that circumnavigated the globe aboard the watchmaker’s 77-year-old DC-3 are now available for purchase. Each features a Breitling DC-3 World Tour engraving on the back and comes with a special logbook commemorating the record flight by the oldest airplane to fly around the world.
There’s never been a more capable pilot’s watch than Garmin’s latest D2 Charlie. Featuring a full-color dynamic moving map, built-in GPS, Nexrad weather display, airport directory and automatic flight logging, there’s almost nothing it can’t do. You can even use the direct-to and nearest buttons to build flight plans and transfer them to the Garmin Pilot app.
For pilots who are also aviation educators, STEMPilot produces a line of flight simulators designed to introduce K-12 STEM students to the wonders of flight. The Pilot Pro line of simulators includes panoramic displays, realistic controls and lightning-fast PCs running the sim software. Individual lessons are designed for students with no prior aviation experience.
Before the Wright Brothers mastered powered flight, they built the Van Cleve bicycle at their modest shop in Dayton, Ohio. More than 100 years later, the model is being offered once again, albeit greatly modernized. Sourced using all-American parts and assembled in the same Dayton city block as the original, it features front and rear disc brakes, a Shimano Alfine internal-gear hub and a belt drive in place of a traditional chain. Proceeds help support the Wright Brothers Family Foundation and preserve Hawthorn Hill, the Wright family home.
At Flying Colors Glass, self-taught artisan Gary Elshoff showcases his incredible talent for designing stained glass windows with a special emphasis on aviation. His custom pieces tell stories and capture the majesty and importance of beloved and historic aircraft, and his designs are proudly displayed in homes, businesses and hangars, as evidenced by the testimonials on his website. Quotes are available here.