John Zimmerman

What are the best flight simulator yokes and rudder pedals?

Since being reintroduced in 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator has reinvented the flight simulator world. With stunning graphics, live weather, and incredibly life-like cockpits, the latest generation of this storied franchise is winning thousands of new fans every week. To make it more than a game, though, you'll need the right hardware. Here are our top picks for yokes and rudder pedals, any of which can transform MSFS into a valuable training tool. All of these work with X-Plane as well as Micorsoft, and they can be mixed and matched to create the perfect system.

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Visit Sporty's at Sun 'n Fun 2022

The first big aviation event of the year is about to kick off, and Sporty's will be there in a big way. The annual Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo, which takes place in sunny Lakeland, Florida (LAL), runs from April 5-10 this year. Stop by Sporty's big tent - just outside Hangar A on the main ramp - for new products, interactive demos, product experts, and much more.

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Garmin D2 Mach 1 smartwatch - first impressions

Garmin recently introduced the D2 Air X10, an updated smartwatch for pilots with a beautiful screen and dozens of useful features. It has been a huge hit so far, but apparently Garmin wasn’t done: this week the company unveiled the D2 Mach 1. This all-new smartwatch has many of the same sophisticated features as the D2 Air X10, but with even more navigation tools and a number of luxury finishes. Quite simply, it’s Garmin’s best aviation watch ever.

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Garmin D2 Air X10 smartwatch for pilots - first impressions

Smartwatches are one of the hottest categories in the consumer electronics business, with over 100 million sold in 2021 alone. The latest model from Garmin is the D2 Air X10, which replaces the best-selling D2 Air. It retains the vivid touchscreen and pulse oximeter from its predecessor, but adds new smart assistant features so your watch can now integrate seamlessly with Siri or Google Assistant. After testing it for the last week, we think it’s the best pilot watch yet.

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5 free tools for flight instructors at Sporty's CFI Portal

Staying organized and staying connected to students is essential for any flight instructor who wants to be their best. Sporty’s new CFI Portal, part of our 2022 Learn to Fly Course, makes this easier than ever. Available free to any active flight instructor, this suite of tools includes lesson plans, a free refresher course, FAA library, and more. No trial, no credit card, and no catch—just sign up and enjoy these exclusive benefits.

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General aviation trends for 2022

What will 2022 bring for pilots? Hopefully tailwinds and smooth rides, but as we turn the page on another busy year at Sporty’s, we thought it was the perfect time to look back at 2021 and offer some thoughts on the general aviation market, at least as we see it from Batavia, Ohio.

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Fast Five year in review—2021

Sporty's Fast Five is one of aviation's most popular email newsletters. Every Saturday morning, we deliver five interesting articles and one video to your inbox (you can sign up here). It's a quick way to stay up to date, with tips for safer flying, tricks for using the latest gear, and interesting aviation debates. We published 52 editions of Fast Five in 2021, with hundreds of articles, dozens of video tips, and even a few new product announcements. Here are some highlights.

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Top 10 gifts for pilots

Not sure what to get the pilot on your Christmas list this year? We don’t blame you—between ANR and ADS-B, the acronyms can get pretty confusing. Fortunately, the pilots at Sporty’s can help. We’ve combed through thousands of customer reviews, run the math on best-selling products, and debated what 2021’s hottest new products are. The result is this list of the 10 most wanted gifts for pilots.

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Smart TV apps—the best way to watch aviation videos

Slowly but surely, the big screen in your living room has evolved from an old fashioned tube to a powerful computer, capable of running thousands of apps. Sporty’s Pilot Training app is a great example: for 2022, we’re proud to announce support for five different smart TV platforms, covering more than 95% of Americans. It’s truly a cross-device app—from your iPhone to your Android tablet to your Amazon Fire TV, Pilot Training is there to help you become a better pilot. If you haven’t tried it on your TV yet, now is the perfect time. In fact, watching flying videos on your 4K TV is probably the best way to absorb complicated aviation topics.

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Which iPad do I have?

If you're shopping for a mount or kneeboard you'll quickly have to answer the question, "which iPad do I have?" It's not as simple as it might sound, so if you're not sure which model you have, you're not alone. Please note that we loathe the naming convention Apple has chosen for the iPads as much as you do. It’s difficult to be sure which iPad you have but if you need to look that information up here’s how you do so.

 

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