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    « American Airlines Flight 331 Crashes after Long Landing at Kingston, Jamaica Airport; Downwind Landing May Have Been a Factor | Main | Product Review: Husky A-1C and Garmin G500 and G600 »


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    Took your survey, and found it didn't cover an option. I've been a long time owner of a Sony PRS-500, so have no plans to go with a Kindle, especially with the way Amazon treats publishers and how tightly controlled the device and it's supported formats are. Don't forget the iRex Iliad based eFlyBook of years ago, and of course the Barnes and Noble Nook, which runs the open source Android OS and has already had cell phone targeted apps ported to it. My next hardware purchase is likely to be either a Nook or another Sony Device, and the potential for developing flying applications will be a primary factor in deciding which route I take.

    Perry Reed

    I love my Kindle and would love to use it with aviation, but I haven't found any real good use for it yet. I could upload airport diagrams in PDF format, and may do so in the future, once I determine that they'll look decent and be useable. I'm a VFR-only pilot, but I imagine that approach plates in PDF format could also be useful to IFR pilots.

    Eric Thompson

    Link to SurveyMonkey didn't work; I have a Kindle DX, partially because I like the larger format and the native .pdf capability.

    Max Trescott

    I just checked. The link for the survey does work, though it took a little longer to load than I would have expected.

    Ron Hays

    Max, 2 years ago I bought a Sony Reader, which is very similar to the Kindle. For avid readers such as myself who travel a lot, it (or something like it) is a must have. However, the downloadable approach charts are too “shrunk” on the Reader to be of much value, unless you already have good familiarity with the approach. The Sony Reader screen is slightly smaller than the Kindle; but the Kindle display is not the size or readability of the NOAA or Jepp plates.
    If Kindle makes a newer model with a larger display, I will probably buy one.
    Ron Hays

    Patrick Flannigan

    I want a Kindle! Strictly for reading on the go. I can't think of too much you can do as far as aviation is concerned. Sure, there is http://www.pdfplates.com/ and other sources where you can download plates, turning the Kindle into a sort of electronic flight bag, but what happens when the batteries go dead? You can't get rid of the paper plates yet.

    Perry Reed

    @Ron - The newer Kindle DX has a larger screen. I wonder if it would be big enough.

    @Patrick - Battery life is certainly a concern and I'm sure you'd want to have a paper back-up, but if you turn off the wireless radio on the Kindle, the battery will easily last several days, sometimes weeks.


    Many PDFPlates users love the Kindle DX- it has a very large screen, about the size of a regular plate. Battery life is not a concern with the modem off, you can get weeks out of it. The device does have some drawbacks, but I can promise you that 2010 will be an exciting year in the eReader market. Lots of good stuff is coming.

    As for backups, you can also view plates on an smart phone, such as an iPhone (or iPod) for that extra layer of redundancy!

    Dennis Bironas

    Your survey was centered around the Kindle. I am planning to buy the Sony version due to having a touch screen which will include the addition of approach plates and AD/F. The Kindle, by not having a touch screen, makes choosing plates difficult (though not impossible).

    So, therefore, your questionnaire will have skewed results by not including "other" E-Books.

    Maybe that was your intentions anyway. However, you did not qualify your survey anyway.

    Thanks for the reply. There are many other "E readers" on the market. I expect a color model in a few years. However, the intent of E-Readers, for pilots, at this point in time, are clearly for the use of AF/D and approach plates. Due to their inherent direct sunlight contrast, weight, and energy usage; they are perfect for the job of replacing paper approach plates (as you are aware).

    I am finding that, at this time, most pilots are confused about what's available. Yes, the Kindle has been widely advertised: compared to other suppliers and it's time that someone write a comparative analysis; especially for the top 2 (Sony and Kindle).

    It's my opinion that this technology will not replace LCDs for another 15 years. Which, to me, means that the LCD sunlight brightness issue will either be enhanced or replaced.

    There is a down side to E-Readers, as you probably know, and that is the visibility in low light conditions. A suitable backlight (decreased battery use time) must be available.

    Keep up the great work. It's always great to read your news and views. I know it takes a lot of your time to keep up with all aviation things of interest.

    Max Trescott

    Dennis, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the technology and where it's headed. I included just the Kindle in the survey since I thought it had the lion's share of the market. Several people have mentioned the Sony, so now I realize it's a major player too, though not as well advertised. I'd never spent any time investigating E-Readers before. But given the large number of comments and interest in the topic, I'll plan to take a closer look. Thanks again for writing! Max

    Christopher Laney

    I don't have a Kindle, but do plan to buy an e-reader as soon as I know whether Apple will jump into that market or not. They are supposed to have an announcement on Jan. 26 that many feel will be some type of tablet capable of being an e-reader.

    I have a glass panel in my plane, so I'm already used to looking at info electronically on that, but I think an e-reader with charts would be a good backup.

    I had a conversation with a writer friend recently. He didn't think e-readers would catch on for a very long time, but I disagree. He didn't think the baby boomers, whom he believes do the bulk of the reading, would embrace them. I agree that baby boomers probably do the bulk of the reading, but I'm watching baby boomers embrace the Kindle left and right. My mom and mother-in-law both have them, two people I'd never have believed would want them. After doing a bit of informal polling with people I know in their 60s, I'm amazed at how many boomers are buying them.

    I believe e-readers are about to take off, just like the iPod did earlier in the decade.

    Great post

    Robert Longwell

    Just returned to Austin, TX, from a trip to Sacramento, CA. Last time I made the trip, had 6 volumes of terminal procedures, a lot of paper. This trip had it all loaded on my Kindle DX. Sure was more convenient and not so much stuff to carry. Also loaded aircraft performance information on the Kindle.

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