Just got my Tablet PC & Jepp Charts

My new Tablet PC with eletronic approach charts works great!

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Toshiba Table PC and ordered Jeppesen’s Flightstar, Flight View, and Flight Deck! Way cool! No more lugging all the approach charts! I don’t have my Cirrus yet, but I plan on flying to many cities in the US, but don’t want to carry all the books along! If I knew that I would go to one city and back, I could just print out the major charts and such, but I may go from one city to the next, all over the place. (with my business)

The screen is a litle dim, so you have to tilt it away from direct sunlight, but night time should be awsome! In IMC, direct sunlight isn’t a problem anyway.

The processor is very fast and chart look-ups and screen refress are instant! I am very pleased. The computer does not get hot, even after 1.5 hours of continuous use.

I am transferring all my current laptop data to this little jewell because it is a laptop and tablet combined. However, I will miss my current laptop’s 15" screen.

I am ordering a Garmin PC cable for my hand held GPS to act as the source so I can even have the little airplane follow the glide slope on the approach chart! (Flight Deck) Of course, this would only be cool for the safety pilot because I’ll be pre-occupied!

This also would work as a good backup GPS moving map with Flight View if my Avidyne or 430 goes out. Or it may keep my passenger happy by zooming in and out on the laptop so my Avidyne and 430 are left alone.

Go to the address below to see the hardware. I got it a CompUSA, but be prepared to get on a waiting list!


Ken Wilson

Dear Ken,
thank for your post!
You are preatty ahead on the project I was looking for.
The idea to have all “charts” in a small Notebook is something that I like and the new tech Tablet PC seems a good chances to use it in flight.

Some question:
What I would do is to prepare flight plan on my notebook (at home or office, airport…), transfer it to the installed Cirrus Garmin 430 and diplay it on the Avidyne connecting it with the Jepp FlightStar/View/Deck on the Tablet PC. Is it something you are prepairing/obtained?

This could permit to diplay on the Tablet sid/arrival/star charts just touching the screen while you fly the flight plan and procedure on the Avidyne/Garmin… (?)
This will be really usefull in case of alternate airport or other when you must see different approch charts without to check on the Jepp book in flight.

Do you already know if Jepp software FlightStar/View/Deck supporting the touch screen function of the XP Tablet PC software?

My idea is to have a “small” trolley bag of “right dimension” with inside:
1 - Tablet PC (with installed Jepp FlightStar/View/Deck);
2 - Small battery printer and blanck paper (I choiced an HP 350 Cbi wireless), so you can print all you need at any place;
3 - 2 jepp IFR binder, charts (just in case…);
4 - Flight accessory like kneeboard, flashlight, plottercharger, chart organizer etc.
5 - all cable, charger etc.

Because until now I found only trolley bag with size bigger than my need (I want to have a smaller size possible for everything), I’m looking for to produce it myself in leather through an craftworker that could hand made it with dedicated division, avoiding “all on the ground” when you open it!

In case this could interest someone else, we could arrange a small series of this trolley.

Waiting your comments,

best regards

My subscriptions for my IFR services is about to renew and I’ve been thinking about moving to a similar system. Can you explain why you chose to use the Toshiba system? This may be a dumb question but why couldn’t I use my existing IBM Thinkpad? Does the laptop have to be certified for use in an airplane or for IFR functions?

Will it work on 12 or 28 volt DC, or do you have to rely on its batteries? TIA.

In reply to:

My new Tablet PC with eletronic approach charts works great!

Ken, thanks for your report.
My biggest concern is display readability in sunlight. (We have a lot of that stuff out here.) I think I’d be miserable if I had to tip it and squint to read it. Have you flown with it in bright sunlight?
I know you mentioned that when you’re in the clouds IMC it would be readable, but my experience has been that there are some such situations where the lighting is worse when in clouds. How does the brightness compare to the MFD?

Working the same setup with the Motion Computing Tablet PC.
Working great though i am not going to interface it to the handheld.


One of the mistakes I see of pilots with “electronic” versions of the charts is the lack of attention to NOTAMs. Any published or electronically-depicted procedure, including electronic en route, terminal area, or airport moving map depiction, are subject to NOTAMs that may amend or cancel a specific route segment, procedure, or chart. Having electronic depictions of aeronautical charts or similar paper products of the same material does not relieve the pilot from checking NOTAMs prior to departure, and also, upon reaching the destination airport, ensuring that all applicable NOTAMs have been received.

There may be ways to electronically annotate charts as NOTAMs require a change, but having the ability to write them on a piece of paper is a very powerful tool.

You can hook up an RS232 cable from the 430 or handheld GPS to download signal to the laptop. It refreshes every second and it will follow the glide slope in Jepp Flight Deck software.

You cannot upload flight plans from the laptop to the 430, although I have asked Garmin (as well as 1,000s of other pilots) for the capability to save my flightplan on a card from my laptop and insert it into the 2nd slot (that isn’t being used) on the 430. They may be working on that feature, but no official info released. They know it would be a great feature.

Just thought of one more question, why did you go with the Flight Deck version and not just Jep View? My understanding is that its the same data displayed in the same format?

1st an answer to one of your questions. For non-comercial pilots, the laptop does not have to be certified. There is an article about this issue in a recent magazine that I have at home.

I chose the Toshiba Protege 3500 tablet PC for a variety of reasons. Here they are in no priority of importance.

Protege acts like a laptop and converts to a tablet… 2, 2, 2 mints in one!

Tablet config is lighter and smaller for a tight cockpit. Worse in older planes that I may use it in if needed.

Toshiba’s tablet is 2x the processor speed and 2x the RAM as others currently available on the market. Great for data lookup and screen refresh. And it works much faster than I dreamed it would with JeppView/Flight Deck software.

Toshiba was praised as the only laptop that didn’t heat up your lap after several minutes of use. (TRUE, even 2 hrs)

Good battery life

Light weight

Touchscreen in tablet mode and Touchpad in laptop mode!

New topic: I can get an RS232 cable from the Garmins or a hand-held GPS to interface with the computer and have the plane symbol follow down the glide slop if I want. Maybe a little overkill, but fun for all. The detail on JeppView offers a little more than can be shown on the 430 or Avidyne. But the main reason to have this Electronic Flight Bag is two fold. A: smaller / lighter flight bag for approach charts and B: no more paper updates from Jepp. Just a new CD every 2 weeks!

I am in the computer business, so that is another reason I like the Cirrus and Electronic Flight Bags.


Actually, I forget. I called Jeppesen and I think it had something to do with displaying the approach charts just like the paper charts and / or navigating with the touch screen and pen on tablet computers. When you buy Flight Deck, you get Jepp View.

Based on my informations (and use), FliteDeck permit to handle FliteStar and JeppView connected on an GPS in flight like a MFD. This function shouldn’t work with only FliteStar & JeppView.

Creating a flight plan on FliteStar (with added JeppView subscription), you can choice (see and/or print) all the flight plan map, leg, airport, sid/arrival/star for the selected airport you choice (including alternates) -usually I print all it and put them on my kneeboard -, and recall it on the screen from “Flight plan PRINT button” (or on video: PREVIEW).
This is a function that I like so much in flight instead to pick up Jepp Binder and to glance through the book beetwen the different charts of the same airport.
If you arranged before to flight the flight plan, you can already have available only all the arrival,star charts you assume you will need at the touch of a botton.

This works well on a std notebook, but it is quite bulky also in a bigger Cirrus coptick :slight_smile:
Tablet PC, should permits this only with the size of the screen respect an std notebook.

I think this is a good option also in case you can’t connect with the GPS coptick, using your Tablet PC like a Jepp binder. Your research will be always faster than on the book touching only the screen instead of to digit on the keyboard.

My 0.02 cent

In reply to:

You cannot upload flight plans from the laptop to the 430, although I have asked Garmin (as well as 1,000s of other pilots) for the capability to save my flightplan on a card from my laptop and insert it into the 2nd slot (that isn’t being used) on the 430. They may be working on that feature, but no official info released. They know it would be a great feature.


I’m one of the 1,000s of other pilots who’ve asked. I have also asked for other things I’d like:

1 - A high level choice for PILOT NAME - so that in a shared airplane environment (club, etc.), I could get in and select MIKE from JANE / MIKE / JOE / PAM etc… and then get all my own preferences for all the other choices - map settings, choice of field displays on the different screens, checklists, ROUTES, etc.

2 - The ability to back up all settings mentioned above to a standard Garmin memory cartridge, so that if I get into another GNS430/530 equipped airplane, I can insert my cartridge and instantly put my preferences into the unit; also means that if I have to swap my unit out, I can bring the replacement unit in line with my previously entered preferences without doing it all again.

3 - In addition to being able to load in a Route (e.g. one derived from DUATS), from my PC, it would be nice to be able to upload it to my secured N-number airplane site… so that when I power on my avionics, it gets downloaded into the Garmin autmatically via satellite link (after all, the Garmin is connected to the Avidyne MFD which has a weather satellite link…) Likewise, all changes I put into the Garmin in flight should be saved on my home-accessible web site as a backup.

4 - Store my flight path in the GNS 430 for retrieval by all of the ways described above… so that I can replay them at home on my PC. If this stuff is uploaded during flight… well, never mind that for now.

Well, I can dream, can’t I? [;)]


The Protege does not come with a cigarette lighter adaptor with cable, but Targus makes one that is slim and comes with 5 different tips to use with different brands of laptops. However, the list of laptops with the associated tip to use does not include the brand new Protege 3500 from Toshiba. I have called Targus to find out which one to use, but they haven’t got back with me yet. I don’t want to fry my power supply or batteries.

Gordon, that’s exactly the issue I have with my laptop and JeppView. In bright clouds or above a cloud layer the screen is very hard to read. That’s why I print the charts I expect to need and use the computer for back up only. I’m waiting for a device that I can use all the time. Perhaps the Tablet is it?

I think it could possibly be an issue for a single pilot situation. The paper jepp chart would be better in some cases. I sat right seat in a Skymaster during the day with no clouds. We were flying south in direct sunlight and I had to tilt it and possition it in the shade. It was no fun, but not completely worthless. I know what you are talking about in bright, white clouds. I’ll just have to see. Still, it is no match for the Garmins as brightness goes. But the detail is better and the software has more options. If I had an engine failure, half way to my x-country trip, just above a solid layer of clouds…

a quick “nearest airport” search on the Avidyne or Garmin and 4 or 5 taps with the Tablet Pen and I have every option of approach charts on every runway available for that airport.

Much faster than the following:

  1. Reach the briefcase on wheels in the back seat that contains the books or binders with approach charts of the US
    2)Figure out which book / binder to look in
    3)Find the airport
    4)Choose the approach
    5)Remove it from the binder or paperclip it open on the book

…But really, I’m just trying to justify a cool toy! (don’t tell)

I think we all agree that the Garmins are bright enough to use in daylight, and just about anything dimmer isn’t. So does anyone know the figure of merit of the Garmin’s luminescence? For example, the Garmins are xxx lumins per square centimeter, so any display to use in the cockpit must be at least that bright. That would save alot of experimentation.


I also looked at the Motion tablet. I was concerned in that I’ve never heard of them before. I take it from your post you are happy with it and it works as advertised?

Question about the speed of the processor and amount of ram… Does it seem to perform well? Your Tablet is much less expensive than the Toshiba, but I liked the 1.33 Ghz processor and 512K ram. But geeks like me want all the big numbers when probably 500 Ghz would do. We get carried away. I’m sure Microsoft Word works just as fast on your tablet as it does on mine!

Are you happy with the time to find an airport and refresh screens when you change from one approach to another at a given airport?


Yep, 500ghz would work for me, too. [:)]