IFly 700 GPS

IFly 700 GPS

I've been wanting an inexpensive handheld for a while and after posting a thread on the GeoPilot II another member suggested looking at the IFly. It does look pretty good so I'm looking for feedback or anyone's thoughts on that. It appears to be a VERY new product so I don't imagine there are too many of them out there yet but I love the idea of getting unlimited database, sectional, TFR, and software updates for $69 a year.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

Well, I can only give an update on mine. I have had it for a few weeks now and still love it. Yes, there have been a few bugs discovered, but the company is right there to either help you figure it out, or when it turns out to be the programming come right out and tell everyone (through the forums) what the issue is an what they are doing to resolve it. Plus the remote control is great in turbulence, no touching the screen! I looked at the 496, and many others, and actually had put together some programs on my tablet using global mapping software and the FAA digital sectionals, along with a commercial nav program. Was a pain to launch all that crap in the plane, and using a stylus was hard. Yes I know that Garmin makes the "gold  Standard" for handhelds, but it comes with a gold price tag too. I already have certified IFR GPS equipment on board along with flight instruments, I didn't need another set in my handheld. What I wanted was a set of electronic sectionals, with route planning, info on airports, taxi diagrams for larger airports, ect (and hopefully XM weather soon). The Ifly met those requirements for a great price.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

A handheld that can't operate on battery power seems like a bad idea. One of the reasons I carry a handheld is as a backup navigational system in the event of electrical failure. The iFly, as I understand it, has no battery, so that's out the window. Deal breaker for me.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

PF Wrote:
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> ...The iFly, as I understand it, has no battery, so that's out the window. Deal breaker for me.

That's technically true, but the iFly website points to a couple of external battery options, at least one of which is pretty inexpensive (~$30).  You may ultimately decide that's not good enough for you, but others who share your concern about having a backup if the power fails may decide this is an adequate option...

From their website:

Does it have a battery?
Answer:

The GPS requires external power.  It includes AC and DC (cig lighter style) adapters, and supports both 12v and 24v systems.  An external battery accessory is being researched and will be made available for purchase on the iFly store as soon as possible.

Following are some 3rd party solutions that have been tested and verified to work with the iFly. 
Tekkeon MP3450: A little expensive, but offers 6+ hours of power
PowerStream PST-BP23: Much cheaper, a little heavier, offers 2-3 hours of power

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

The iFly is laden with flaws. I guess the good news is that they're honest about that on their website. They even recommend shading the unit with your hand to make it sunlight readable. I applaud them for trying, but think they should come back to the market when they have a feasible product.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

PF Wrote:
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> The iFly is laden with flaws.

I won't dispute that, as I didn't even know the product existed until I saw this post a couple hours ago.  Now that I'm aware of the product, I'm curious to learn more about it. 

Would you be willing to point out some of the specific flaws you've noticed (in addition to the screen readability issue you noted)?

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

PF, here is one of the post from Ifly. The only complaint I have seen was it was too bright at night. PF sounds alot like PK, hmmmm.

Flew with mine today for first time. Worked well, great unit. I was concerned about sunlight readability because I have a clear canopy but it was not an issue [...] Overall a great value that gives excellent situational awareness." 
     -Tom F.
       RV 6

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I checked out the IFly forum and it doesn't look like it's too bad to me. Hell, we've got a multi-page thread going on one of Garmin's new offerings (Aera) that is dedicated to it's shortcomings and was started by an owner. You would assume if anyone should be able to introduce a new product that would be right from the beginning it would be Garmin, especially in light of what they charge. (Not to mention their experience). The one thing I don't see is Someone from Garmin addressing it's customers concerns on a personal level (a daily forum where they can be seen by anyone that is interested), and I DAM SURE don't see Garmin asking their Aera customers what changes they can make to the product, the status of those requests, and then if incorporated in a software revision, make it available for download without any special hardware or expense beyond the $69 token fee they charge for a yearly subscription (Which includes unlimited downloads of Airport Database, sectional, Charts, Taxi Diagram, and Software updates AND UPGRADES as well). All for $500? Hell, when was the last time anyone even SAW a GPS they would remotely consider buying for their airplane that cost $500? It's starting to look less like a "Hard act to Follow" and more like a "No Brainer" for us less affluent types all the time.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

Anywheremap has a product for $500 that's much more mature, has it's own battery, is sunlight readable, and is widely used.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

If you are talking about the ATC I looked into that. They are $600 not $500 and you want sectionals and plates add another $400 for a total of $1000 (twice the Ifly). It costs another $40 a year to update and Worse yet, there are so many reports of unreliability, poor customer service/support and overall dissatisfaction by owners, you would have to be an idiot to buy one. If you go to their web site and follow the ATC "Systems and Pricing" link, you are taken to a page where they are trying to pedal "Open Box" units! There is only one reason a company has such a large supply of "Open Box" units they try to tempt potential buyers by sending them to a special web-page and offer a $100 discount and it's not because they have a "trade up" program. Who wants to pay too much $$ for a "Mature" product that the manufacturer hasn't been able to make right but has had plenty of time to do it? No Thanks.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I've had my iFLY 700 for a couple of weeks and so far have few complaints.  The aircraft track is currently reading in TRUE vice MAG but a fix is on the way, the display shows North-Up vice aircraft track but the developers are working on that as well.  I just updated on 1 Jun with new flight data -- simple to do.  Download onto your desktop, transfer to a USB device, plug in, click, done.  Not bad, $69 per year for continuous updates.

GPS reception seems strong, going to try moving down to middle of instrument panel.  There is an external GPS antenna plug (and the developer will sell you an external antenna for about $10 if you ask).

System comes with carrying case, mounting bracket, remote control, aircraft cigarette lighter plug, and 120v plug for use at home.

Overall...very happy with the system -- the developer is very receptive to input/fixes.  Will carry my old Lowrance 100 in the glovebox as a backup if needed.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I bought one shortly after my last post (Feb.) and give the product a 10 on a 10 scale all things considered, ESPECIALLY the $499 price tag and the super cheap yearly update and UPGRADE subscription fee. I've NEVER seen a new product from any company, new or established, hit the market with the kind of customer support this one did. Very few gripes overall and they were addressed faster than you could say Garmin. I don't know how many more upgrades Boyd (The company owner) can incorporate into the software but Garmin did exactly the same thing with the Aera but they incorporated incremental price increases as well. $500 is an entry-level price for an aviation based GPS but there isn't another comparable 7 inch touch-screen product on the market at near the price, this is a $1000-1500 unit with a $500 price tag, at least until the company decides they don't need to give them away any longer.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I think PF was referring to the AWM quadra which got good reviews in aviation consumer.  Showed that review to my wife who wonderwd why they can't make one that is larger but still fits on the yoke (an iPad seems pretty heavy to hold for any length of time).

Then I saw the iFly while looking at adventure pilot website for a place to fly for anniversary.  Looks interesting and like the price.

Does it do approach plates?  That's what I am really after.  Carrying a couple of Jepp binders (and more, keeping them current) is a chore.  With 2 panel mounted GPS's, all I really need is a quick overview for arrival planning and then the minima and missed instructions for the actual approach (and why Garmin can't put these on the GNS530 I don't know).

Having to use external battery may be a problem but, it would reduce the weight you have to hold.  Set the battery on the floor and have a spare charging by the cigarette lighter.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

There have been a couple reviews on this lately. Here are the links.

http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/product … ducts.html

http://www.fly-low.com/6-10/F-L-06-10product.pdf

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I am looking at a variety of smaller GPS units and came across the discussion about the iFly 700.  I have been tempted to purchase the Anywhere Quadra EFB, especially for the geo-referenced taxi and approach plates, but concerned about the many negatives voiced by some of the owners. 

For those current owners of the iFly 700 - a couple of questions:
1.  Does it have geo-referenced taxi charts and approach plates like the Anywhere?
2.  How viewable is the screen in regular daytime use?
3.  Is the 7" screen unwieldy in the yoke mount?
4.  Are you generally happy with the unit?  Meaning if you would do it again would you buy the iFly  or would purchase the Garmin Aera or Bendix King AV80R or the Anywhere Quadra?
Thanks for your opinions
RT

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I picked one up at OSH this year and so far, really like it.  I was looking for a GPS to use for VFR flying that wouldn't break the bank and I believe I found it.  I like the flight tracking over a sectional, plus $69 a year for sectional updates plus airport info and other plates is a bargin in my book.  The owner has been very pro-active on any bugs that are uncovered and asking what owners would like to see as improvements and actually corresponding with them is pretty refreshing.  As long as they don't try and load it up with a bunch of features no one uses, it should remain simple to use.  I think it was meant as primarilt a VFR aid.  So if an IFR user wants more, then just shell out the $$$ for a more expensive unit.  It does sound like they are going to be including geo-referencing in upcoming updates, which would wouk on taxi diagrams and approach plates, however.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I can't speak to the yoke mount issue because I mounted mine over the glove box door but readability is fine. I would buy it again without question.

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

I know I'm resurrecting an old thread (hey, it is Easter time, after all), but I thought there might be some interest.  The iFly developers have seemingly done a very good job of updating the software since the product's release.  Version 5 came out just a few days ago, and the next major update, Version 6, is targeted for just prior to Oshkosh.

Version 6 will be a significant upgrade because it is supposed to finally bring geo-referenced approach charts and airport diagrams to the user.  One of the developers posted in the iFly forums about the long road to reach this point (see here); here's a copy of that post:

Shane wrote:

We are getting close on this feature. We just released Version 5, which adds about 20 new features. Now we focusing on Geo-Referenced Approach Plates/Taxiways, Weather via ADS/B and Full Terrain and Obstructions. These are targeted for release prior to Oshkosh, barring any major delays.

The FAA delayed it's Geo project indefinitely so we had to go to plan B. This was a major set back. We have acquired the geo-referenced charts and are working on the taxiways. Like I say we are getting much closer. I know this feature has seen a major delay and we thank you for your patience and understanding. It will be worth the wait in the end. This is planned for release on our Version 6 Software update later this summer prior to Oshkosh.
Shane

One question I still have is whether there will be an additional charge for the new geo-referenced charts.  Since they're no longer coming from the FAA (for free), they must be coming from a third-party supplier (who will want to be paid for them).  It's probably more a question of "how much" than "if"...

Anyone who's ever written or waited for software updates knows that feature announcements aren't worth the paper they're printed on.  When the actual release occurs, that's when it counts.  However, the iFly guys have been pretty good so far about meeting their announced targets, so I'm optimistic.

For what it's worth, I'm not even a customer yet.  Just bought a used unit and it's en route to me now.  I've been kind of keeping an eye on these guys for a while, though.  I don't know where the world of tablet computing (iPad, etc.) will end up wrt aviation, but I don't think it's quite here yet.  I think the iFly will probably serve me well for at least 2-3 years...I'll look around then and see if there's something better available for reasonable cost...

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Re: IFly 700 GPS

Their latest upgrade (actually there have been 2 upgrades lately) has enabled the NMEA output which gives it autopilot capability.  I understand there are some currently being used in that fashion on RV's now. They continue to refine the unit and I think you'll be very happy with what it can do.

Greg S
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Re: IFly 700 GPS

Yeah, I saw folks talking about using it to drive their autopilot, but as the owner of a certificated plane, that doesn't do anything for me.

jruhnke
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Re: IFly 700 GPS

Yeah, kinda sucks that if you own a certificated plane, you miss out on all the good stuff, unless you have a bulging wallet.

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