What is the difference between AIR³ and a low cost phone or tablet on which I can install XCTrack?
If you have reached this page, it means you are headed in the right direction. But you are not there yet. XCTrack is the most efficient and ergonomic flight software. Now using XCTrack is one thing, the hardware that XCTrack runs on is also essential to have a good flight instrument.
Are there many pilots who only use their phone or tablet as the ONLY flight instrument? Probably not, here are some reasons (not sorted by importance) that differentiate AIR³ from such a solution.
- Readability is a key characteristic of a flight instrument. AIR³ has a very bright screen with up to 1000 nits. This gives the possibility of reading information even in the worst cases.
- A large majority of phones or tablets do not have a pressure sensor. Now, having a pressure sensor does not guarantee a good vario. The quality of the sensor is also important, as well as the way the system and the software are using the data coming from the sensor.
- AIR³ is a rugged tablet IP67. This means it is robust, shock proved, water resistant. As long you are very cautious, doing very soft landing and take off, etc, it may not be an advantage but if not, it is one for sure. The counterpart of this is that it is more heavy (strong material, rubber, protection, etc.) than usual instrument.
- AIR³ has a 7″ display, which allows to have very large widgets easily readable, very large Map on screen, etc. This is certainly an advantage, compared with a phone. Most tablets have a 8 or 10″ display. We beleive it is too large and unnecessary. 7″ is the ideal size.
- As explained on the base page, readability is key for a flight instrument. Increasing the brightness is solving only partially the readability of most devices and increase the energy consumption. A special base has been designed for the AIR³ form factor to put AIR³ right in front of your eyes for increased readability. The pilot will be much more satisfied with the readability of AIR³ compared with a phone or tablet. Check also our “readability matters” page.
- AIR³ is the only device sold with a perpetual licence of XCTrack Pro. This gives the opportunity to use certain widgets that are not available in the free version of XCTrack. The set of Pro features will increase in the future and will of course be available for AIR³ users that have a Pro version of XCTrack.
- AIR³ has easily accessible physical buttons to interface with the application. When wearing winter gloves, the interface with the touch screen function may become difficult. With the physical buttons, you can easily zoom in or out, change pages, change the waypoint to follow, increase or decrease the brightness, etc..
- AIR3 Manager is an additional app preinstalled on AIR³ that manages some basic features, including the way to choose XCTrack profile and theme (both applications are communicating with each other so that the user do not need to know all the different settings to change into XCTrack to change profile or theme). AIR³ Manager also offers a way to automatically download the latest openair file validated by the local group of pilots that are concerned by Airspace compliance. See this video that details the way AIR³ is managing AIRPACE.
- AIR³ is sold “Ready to fly”, preconfigured with 4 different profiles and 3 different themes. XCTrack is a very powerfull application but it is sometimes too complex for some users to take advantage of it. With AIR³, no need to learn all the different advanced features of XCTrack to take the best out of it.
- The autonomy of AIR³ is large with 10.000 mAh…It gives the opportunity to keep your phone battery,… and keep having the chance to use your phone once landed.
- AIR³ speaker and microphone gives you the opportunity to call or receive calls, keeping your hands on the breaks. (except to hang on or to execute the preconfigured call widget). Few tablets have the opportunity to use it as a phone. Being able to receive calls and make calls can be very usefull in many situations
- AIR³ 7.3 has a pogopin (magnetic) USB connector. If you need to charge the device in flight with an external battery, you can easily connect. In the event of a hard landing, there is no risk of breakage with the USB connector.
- AIR³ is sold through distribution. This mean that you should have the opportunity to test it before buying it if you are not yet convinced. Not sure which local distributor is selling the AIR³? Contact us. If there is no local dealers yet, take advantage of our “satisfied or refunded” commitment.