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iCub Plane Distracts Pilots With an iPad-Equipped Cockpit

iCub with iPad
At first glance this seems like a terrible idea: putting an iPad front and center in an airplane cockpit. You wouldn't put one at the fingertips of a driver, so it would make sense to keep the app-running, Web-browsing device out of view when careening several thousand feet above ground. But, surprise, that's one of the key features of the Zlin iCub, a new recreational aircraft being shown off at AirVenture in Oshkosh.

Rather than load up the cockpit with expensive avionics and FAA-approved GPS hardware, designers merely stuck an iPad 3G, pre-loaded with aviation apps, in the iCub's panel. By opting for an iPad, the company is able to save thousands of dollars otherwise spent on specially built equipment. Of course, apps do crash, and the iPad screen isn't exactly renowned for its visibility in sunlight; however, charts and an observant eye are often enough guidance for the pilots of light sport aircraft. By the rear passenger's seat, there will also be a mount for an iPhone, which can communicate wirelessly with the iPad in the cockpit. We just hope the pilot doesn't get distracted playing 'Angry Birds' while landing. [From: Wired]

Tags: airplane, airventure, aviation, flight, icub, ipad, navigation, plane, top, transportation, zlin, zlin icub, ZlinIcub