Heads Up Display (HUD) on iPads and iPhones for Aircraft Pilots
Our heads-up-display app for iOS (iPads and iPhones) makes it easy to see your speed and descent rate on your airplane dashboard at a glance and to record your landings and takeoffs for later review.
Learn to Fly and Fly Safer
- Our HUD places speed information on your airplane's dashboard, reducing your need to look down at the instrument panel during landings and takeoffs.
- Our large speed indicator is easy to see in your peripheral vision (or with a quick sideways glance).
- Our app can try to help alert you (with a blinking red screen) if the estimated speed drops too low.
Review Landings and Takeoffs
- Our HUD makes it easy to record your takeoffs and landings with speed and altitude information. The built-in video display, with speed, altitude, and descent information makes it easy to review your progress in peace and quiet at home.
1-2-3 Get Up and Running
- Install our app from the Apple iOS store by clicking on the icon.
- Fix your iphone to your dashboard (e.g., using an iPad mount from Sporty's or Aircraft Spruce), camera facing forward out of the cockpit window, ideally roughly centered in the cockpit, in landscape orientation. (IMPORTANT: you do not want a projectile in the cockpit. Make sure it is fastened well. Also, check that it is placed to that it does not affect your compass.)
- Enable Screen Recording in the Control Center. Then pull down the iOS "control center" and press the iOS "screen record" button. (Optionally disable the sleep parameters in Settings/Brightness.)
- Start our HUD.
(Click on image for slideshow.)
- Best to start without audio warnings—lest they startle you. They become useful later. You will still be warned visually by the flashing display.
- Add the HUD and screen recording to your checklist where you run-up the airplane (presumably near the runway end):.
- Remember the headwind component? Entering it at HUD startup near the runway is a good reminder.
- Calibrate your zero AGL here now. To reduce distractions from fiddling with numbers, our HUD allows setting the AGL only in the pattern (to 1000' AGL) or on the ground (to 0' AGL).
- Set a safe airplane warning speed (stall warning "plus") at startup. This warning speed is stored so that it will not need to be reentered.
- The heading is not magnetic, but true.
- Similarly, the speed is groundspeed, not IAS or TAS. iOS does not have access to the true airspeed information on your pitot tube. Our HUD only has iPad information. Its inputs are based on the iPad's GPS, magnetometer, gyroscope, and altimeter.
- However, the warning speed is influenced by what you enter as your headwind component. For example, if you enter a runway headwind of 30 knots and your airplane's warning speed is set to 60 knots, then the display will warn you at a groundspeed of 30 knots. The warning groundspeed is displayed below the speed indicator (e.g., as 52 knots in the above image).
- We have one report that iPads (not our HUD) are not stable in high heat, like AZ in the high summer. iPads seem to remainstable to at least until about 35C or 100F. We have not tried them beyond this temperature.
Future Enhancements and Bugs
We are thinking of allowing entering not just the headwind component but the wind direction and speed. We could then use it to fix up estimate speed and warnings on all four legs. The drawback is complications with magnetic vs geo headings. If our HUD app catches on, and there is demand, we could add it. for now, the app works very nicely.
If you have suggestions, please email us: Akash Munagala and Ivo Welch.
If you find bugs, please email us: Akash Munagala and Ivo Welch.
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- Our HUD app is an informal aid to learning piloting skills. Although it may help situational awareness, it is not a replacement for the certified instruments in the airplane cockpit.
- We disavow any responsibility or liability arising from the use of this app. Use at your own risk.
- We offer no warranties or guarantees. We only hope that it will help some aspiring pilots.
- Our HUD app is not endorsed by third parties, such as AOPA or the FAA.
- Our HUD was designed and written by Akash Munagala and Ivo Welch.
- We will not file complaints against any copycats as long as the copycat gives us appropriate credit without prompting. It should prominently acknowledges that it tooks its inspiration from our original app (with a link to our URL, http://learn-to-fly.info).
Opinion: We consider such credit to be ethically appropriate, both for the copycat to give and for us to receive. We consider it inappropriate not to give credit or to sue.
Our iOS app 'Learn to Fly: Heads Up Display' does not store any user data on our servers. Any data collected, including location data, is kept on the user's device and not retrieved by us.