Have you been flying with one standard instrument for years thinking it would have been cool to have a map and your own tracklog line shown on a screen during the flight?
Or how about airspace? Would you like to have a clear picture of where you are when flying close to the virtual line and be sure you are not losing a great deal of points just for some 10-30 meters because of not seeing it clearly on the old monochrome friend?
Yeah, you are spot on the money! That is why a dual pod is just a great solution allowing you to keep your old good vario now accompanied by a smartphone or an e-book with a modern navigation software installed.
Altair Dual Pod II line is a new generation of hang gliding pods which won’t disappoint you. Made by pilots for pilots it is a very well-built, sleek and modern solution, that comes in three modifications suiting your needs.
Let’s just go over these three configurations:
- Basic configuration – ALTAIR HANG GLIDING DUAL POD II for €200.00 – €243.00
- Standard configuration – ALTAIR HANG GLIDING DUAL POD POWER II for €220.00 – €263.00
- Advanced configuration – ALTAIR HANG GLIDING DUAL POD POWER WITH BT VARIO AND PITOT TUBE II for €300.00 – €343.00
Beginning with the finest version, this Pod includes practically everything one needs to fly cross country and to participate in competitions. Costing €300.00 the package comes with:
1. Glass fibre pod in standard black or white with the top socket fitting each of the following instruments Compeo+, Flytec 6030, Digifly AIR, Naviter Oudie 4. Sleek shape is designed in a way that the instrument can be charged without a need to take it out.
2. Bottom cavity fits a Smartphone/e-reader that can be up to 165mm long when using with a Compeo+/Flytec 6030 or up to 174mm in case a Digifly AIR is the main instrument.
3. AltAIR unit features an independent speed sensor (Pitot tube), a bluetooth vario with a speaker and 4 key programmable keyboard on the front panel. This arrangement maybe used independently just by switching on the vario on the pod keyboard. But that is not it yet! The preinstalled bluetooth vario also works in combination with XCSoar, LK 8000 and Altair App (Android). A few words about the latter. Altair App is a fully functional competition ready navigation software which executes pretty much all the tasks a pilot needs during comps or XC flying. It is VERY flexible allowing total control over the screens’ setup, font size and colour. It has a great collection of widgets that can be easily added and set up: baroaltitude, airspaces, offline maps, AGL, wind direction and speed, true air speed, gps speed, glide ratio, start gates/final glide etc. It has very useful function of adding waypoints either from a wps/gpx file or by just tapping on the map. Altair App produces an IGC tracklog and is compatible with XContest platform. It also connects to the keyboard of the pod and lets the pilot pre-program the functions of the keys, such as move to the next waypont, zoom the map, etc.
One remark to be added about wind measurements. At the moment (as of August 2020) the numbers, that Altair App calculates for the wind speeds, might be not 100% accurate having a tendency of being larger than in reality. Manufacturer is however working on that problem promising a fix in the near future. This problem is associated only with the Altair App, as XCSoar seem to make quite realistic wind estimations. The air speed comes straight from the calibrated Pitot sensor and therefore is pretty accurate in all Apps.
4. Power bank: MI Powerbank 2S with capacity of 10000 mAh comes together with a micro USB or a USB cable for the smartphone as well as with an installed USB sockets interface on the face side of the Pod.
5. The pod is ready to be mounted onto a screw with 8 mm thread, such as of a separately sold base bar or upright brackets. They can be found here: SPEED BAR AND UPRIGHT BRACKETS/HOLDERS 6/8 MM.
6. For an extra €43 one can give it a final touch with a great looking aqua print finish:
To sum it up, Advanced configuration is a great option if you want to be fully equipped with a backup solution in case the main instrument fails. In fact you can just use the main instrument with an old style monochrome screen as a backup while enjoying fully functional Altair vario and a modern way of navigation with the App.
This configuration for €220 in black & white or for €263 for an aqua print finish includes everything from the list above except the option #5. That is the Pitot tube needed for the main instrument is preinstalled but there is no independent vario- and baro- units inside.
The 10000 mAh power bank, the usb sockets and the cable to connect to the smartphone are included.
This junior brother in the line of Altair Dual Pods starts with €200 price and has neither electronics nor power bank inside, however it comes ready for a battery to be installed. We suggest a MI Powerbank 2S with capacity of 10000 mAh.
Whatever your choice will be, we believe that the Dual Pod with its modern functionality makes flying more enjoyable and rewarding. Together with the modern navigation programs installed on a smartphone/e-book you can improve your preflight preparation by uploading maps and waypoints, planning the routes straight on the map, assessing the distances and the flying conditions on a given day.
During the flight you clearly see where you are and what you are doing in the thermal. Believe us, it does make a difference when you can see how well you are centring a core by just one short glance over a smartphone screen.