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Dedicated GPS or iPad mini


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So I'm in the process of buying my equipment, with the intention of cross countrying, including working up to the Icarus trophy, and mini Icarus set in Wales in July.

I currently have an iPhone 6 with a few different apps, sky demon, UKPPGS, etc.

I am planning on xc-ing generally from a point A to B avoiding any controlled airspace, what should I buy?

I'm looking at either;

An iPad mini 4 cellular which includes internal GPS and barometer (basically a larger screen iPhone) and using Runway HD or similar.


A dedicated GPS unit such as a Flymaster GPS SD


Just stick with the iPhone?

What is everybody's opinion/preference?



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I use exactly this config.

"An iPad mini 4 cellular which includes internal GPS and barometer (basically a larger screen iPhone) and using Runway HD or similar. "

I am not sure how it could be bettered to be honest.


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I started with a garmin gps, then moved to other means, I have a suunto alitmeter watch.

Spent a while with using my iphone which is great, FlySkyHy is by far the best app. Then as you fly for longer you need to think about adding battery backup or a spare phone as it may run out of juice. I also discovered the iphone does not like cold, 40% battery to zero in 10 minutes. once warm its back to 30%, lipo hates the cold. If you and a friend both have flyskyhy, you can see each others location on screen and send your track log directly to livetrack24. You can off load and look at your track log. custom screens etc.

I also experimented with kobo mini and xcsoar, ok at first but it has grown on me and this is the one I use most. My phone stays secure away offering only music to my headset.

XCsoar is great and combined with a paper white low power ink screen like the kobo mini, it works really well, its clear to see, light weight, cheap (compared to iphone) and battery goes on and on and on. Its stand alone so no uploading to online, but it can be done via mobile phone syncing. Something I have yet to look at. Track logs can be downloaded you pc/mac etc.

As an extra item, for lift & sink, I have a fairhaven micro alti vario and still always wearing my alti watch.

The kobo cost £45 plus the GPS chip was £15, thats the DIY version. They are on ebay ready done for £110 and I think, well worth it.

I have had 2 kobos, the 1st one I broke by excessive trimming to get a tiny gps chip installed internally. the second I fitted the standard chip on the outside. so all in all it cost me excess of the £110 ready done, ready loaded, tidy kobo.

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