2013 Flying Gift Guide

The hottest gifts for aviation enthusiasts this holiday season.

Husky A-1C Backcountry Fun For an extravagant gift that has the potential to provide limitless fun, consider Aviat Aircraft's Husky A-1C. Built in Afton, Wyoming, this single-engine taildragger is a backcountry star that shines brightest on short, unimproved strips. While the optional tundra tires will cut the cruise speed by a few knots, they will allow you to land on anything from ocean beaches to riverside gravel bars. The A-1C is powered by a 180 hp Lycoming O-360 engine, which can get the airplane off the ground in about 200 feet and up to a cruise speed of 125 knots. The airplane is fully customizable, so set aside some time during the holidays to design a paint scheme and choose from a wide variety of radio packages on Aviat's website. Expect to pay about $265,000 for a well-equipped Husky. — Pia BergqvistAviat Aircraft
Breitling Transocean Unitime Pilot Iconic Instrument _
_ For pilots who frequently traverse the continents, the new Transocean Unitime Pilot watch from Breitling provides an easy and stylish way to keep time. With 24 different world cities featured on the face of the double-disk watch, wearers can update their time zone and date with one simple turn of the crown. They can also glimpse the time in any other part of the globe with one look by using the second 24-hour ring on the 46 mm Unitime. Thanks to Breitling's Caliber B05 technology, the Unitime guarantees accurate time telling no matter where a pilot's final destination takes him. In addition to the $11,200 version with steel casing and mesh bracelet featured here, the watch is also available in a polished red gold model and a limited-series black steel variant. — Bethany Whitfield
Abingdon Jackie Feminine Pilot Watch _
_ If your female pilot friend is turned off by bulky aviator wristwatches The Abingdon Co.'s Jackie is likely to satisfy her need for a feminine style and fit. Jackie is part of Abingdon's Aviatrix Collection and, in addition to its stylish look, includes features such as an E6B and chronograph. With its rosy face, the Jackie in Sunset Pink, featured here, is by far the most feminine. The watch is adorned with 64 cubic zirconia rivets and is also available with a Seaplane Green or Dreamy White dial. The price for this timepiece is $459, but if you want to spend more, you can get the same watch decked out with real diamonds. — P.B.
Abingdon Co.
Flying Eyes Sunglasses Stylish Specs With sun rays constantly beaming into the cockpit, eye protection is pretty much a necessity. But the arms of standard sunglasses are not at all compatible with another cockpit must have — the headset. Flying Eyes' solution to the problem is a cord that easily slides in under ear cups and is adjustable to fit all head sizes, providing a comfortable fit. The cord detaches quickly, and standard arms can be put in its place so that the stylish frames can be worn as regular sunglasses outside the cockpit. The hard-plastic arms and a protective case are included in the $179 purchase price. Bifocal or polarized lenses can also be added for an additional cost. — P.B.Flying Eyes
Disney's Planes DVD Animated Adventure With fun characters, spectacularly animated aviation-themed backdrops, realistic flying scenes and hilarious one-liners delivered by voices from famous actors and actresses, this year's animated Disney blockbuster Planes will likely win the hearts of aviation enthusiasts, particularly those who are young at heart. The movie follows Dusty Crophopper, a friendly crop-duster with big dreams, on his quest to win the exclusive Wings Around the Globe air race. Despite many obstacles along the way, most of which are created by his nemesis Ripslinger, Dusty's many friends help him accomplish his seemingly impossible mission. The 3D Blu-ray Superset, which includes a Blu-ray Disc, a DVD and a digital copy of the movie, retails for $45. — P.B. _
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Stratus 2 Practical Portable When Appareo Systems, ForeFlight and Sporty's introduced the original Stratus in 2012, we were blown away by the portable automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast free-weather receiver that syncs with the popular aviation app. Stratus 2 delivers all the same benefits of the initial product but expands upon them with a variety of new, much-coveted features. A dual-band receiver, Stratus 2 provides traffic at all altitudes — coverage that the first Stratus doesn't match. It also supplies attitude, making the product an economical emergency backup instrument. All of these new elements are delivered in a smaller package, meaning Stratus 2 will take up less room in the cockpit. For a price of $900, ForeFlight users can't ask for a much better product. — B.W. _
Flight: 100 Greatest Aircraft Aviation’s Most Storied Fliers Based on Flying's widely popular "Top 100 Airplanes" Web feature, the book Flight: 100 Greatest Aircraft provides readers with a new enhanced selection of the most influential aircraft of all time. With stunning full-color photography, Flight takes readers through the biggest moments in aviation history as it details the wonderful machines and designs that made them all possible. Written by Flying magazine and covering everything from backcountry taildraggers to transport giants to the fastest fighters of the day, Flight celebrates the innovation, passion and lesser-known facts behind these marvelous fliers and the famous aviators who manned them. The hardcover book is available for $40. — B.W. _
_ View our "Top 100 Airplanes: Platinum Edition" gallery based on the book here.
Garmin VIRB HD Action Camera Feature-Filled Filming Garmin's stellar lineup of product offerings just got better with the introduction of the VIRB and VIRB Elite HD action cameras. While not specifically crafted for aviators, the rugged GoPro alternatives offer a number of features bound to please pilots. Both cameras can record a lengthy three hours worth of HD 1080p video before the battery quits, and each features a 1.4-inch chroma display with an intuitive menu where users can preview a video, play it back or take still, 16-megapixel photos. The waterproof cameras both allow for remote-control operation and feature GPS as well, while the Elite model takes things a level further with an altimeter, an accelerometer and Wi-Fi. Users can embed and display GPS data into their videos as they fly, and thanks to the ANT+ chip in each camera, users can pair the VIRB with Garmin products, such as the Fenix watch, to capture specific data on film, including heart rate and temperature. The VIRB goes for $300 while the Elite model sells for $400. — B.W.Garmin
**Passport to the World ** Treasured Trip How about inviting a few of your best friends on a luxury adventure to some of the world's most desirable places? Fractional ownership provider Flexjet has teamed up with a luxury travel company called Abercrombie & Kent to offer Passport to the World — an exclusive journey around the globe in a private Bombardier Challenger 605 jet. For a total cost of $1.5 million, you can take seven of your best friends on an unforgettable two-week trip. With fully reclinable leather seats, Wi-Fi and video capabilities onboard the Challenger, you will travel in style to six of the most famous cities of the world: Kyoto, Japan; Agra, India; Beijing; Hong Kong; Istanbul; and Paris. You will stay at exclusive hotels while discovering the best tourist attractions. — P.B.Bombardier
Classic Flight Bag Luxury Luggage For pilots looking for something a little more upscale to carry their logbook and charts, the Classic Flight Bag offers a great alternative to traditional utilitarian aviation bags. Made of hand-cut Crazy Horse leather, which is specially treated with wax and oil, the 5.5-pound Classic Flight Bag combines luxury materials with a rugged finish, resulting in a final product that harkens back to earlier days of luxury air travel. The bag, which is priced at $495, features one large back pocket, two smaller ones on the side, and a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap. Buyers can personalize the bag with leather stamping if desired and are guaranteed a 110 percent refund if they are not happy with their purchase. — B.W.Classic Flight Bag
F-4 Flight Experience Fly a Fighter Ever wonder what it’s like to fly the most vital fighter of the Vietnam War and Cold War eras? Those who haven't had the chance can find out first-hand through the Collings Foundation's F-4 flight program, which offers an almost hour-long flight in the venerated American fighter. The program takes place in Houston, where participants are given ejection-seat and cockpit-orientation training before lifting off in the 35,000-pound thrust speedster. The standard personalized flight experience goes for a price of $12,500, but advanced packages can be purchased for higher rates. — B.W.Collings Foundation