These days, it’s rare to find a pilot who is not flying with an iPad or other electronic device. Hardly anyone is using paper charts anymore. Electronic flight bags have made life so much easier as there is no more need to swap out outdated instrument charts or worry about grabbing an old sectional.
But our reliance on electronics requires a charged battery and some aviation apps consume a lot of battery power, particularly when streaming GPS positioning and ADS-B traffic and weather.
“When your iPad is considered required equipment, you better have the power it needs,” says Sporty’s vice president John Zimmerman.
For those of you who don’t have a way to charge your electronic device in the cockpit through a cigarette lighter port, Sporty’s has launched a portable backup battery. While the Flight Bag Backup Battery is only about the size of a larger iPhone and weighs less than one pound, it stores up to 20,000 mAh, giving it the ability to charge an iPad multiple times. It can even charge as many as eight devices simultaneously.
Sporty’s claims the device does not interfere with the avionics. “Any time you add an electronic device to the cockpit, you run the risk of interference with the radios,” says Zimmerman. “We’re very concerned about that problem, so we’ve tested the Flight Gear Battery pack in multiple aircraft and through hundreds of flight hours to ensure that it won’t become a nuisance in the plane.”
The Flight Gear Backup Battery for the iPad costs $79.95. A full Flight Gear Charging Bundle goes for $99.95 and includes the battery pack, USB Cigarette Lighter Adapter with Voltage Meter and Dual USB Wall Plug.