What pilots need to know about charging plugs, batteries, and cables

Portable electronic devices have become more and more common on the GA flight deck since the turn of the century. From early GPS navigators gaining popularity in flight bags to a company offering a mini computer with a touchscreen that could make phone calls in mid-2007, these devices have improved safety as well as convenience when we fly. As we enjoy the leading edge of technology, though, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how to keep them charged. This article will cover electronic device charging 101, including plug types, cables, and new options like Power Delivery.

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Episode 37. Why eVTOLs are for real and flying the A-10 Warthog, with Beta's Chris Caputo

Chris Caputo spent over 30 years in the Air Force flying A-10s and F-16s, so he might not be the first person you think of when you hear "electric vertical takeoff and landing advocate." But he's a believer, and in this episode he explains why. He also talks about what it's like to fly the Beta Technologies Alia aircraft, why the company is different from other electric aircraft startups, and why cargo may be a better business model than passenger flights. Chris also talks about his Air Force days, including the differences between the A-10 and the F-16, why military training is so valuable for an airline career, and what sound the A-10 gun really makes. In the Ready to Copy segment, he answers whether the last fighter pilot has been born, whether the Boeing 757 or 767 is more fun to fly, and what Air Force airplane he'd most like to fly.

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How to install Sporty's Honeycomb Bravo Profiles with X-Plane 12

The Honeycomb Bravo is one of the most popular flight sim pieces on the market. The challenge is making sure that our hardware configuration is understood by X-Plane 12, which can be a tedious task each time we make a lever change. For that reason, Sporty’s provides preconfigured airplane profiles for X-Plane 12 that will make the transition between different aircraft seamless.

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New product recap: third quarter 2022

At the conclusion of every quarter, we like to reflect on some of the more notable products that joined Sporty’s offering. Here are the top ten new products we’re excited to offer to our customers from the third quarter of 2022, from charging accessories to a new training course.

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Understanding battery maintainers and ground power units

The typical general aviation panel has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Whereas once the top of the line was vacuum-driven “steam gauges” and a couple of NAV/COM radios, today even 60-year old airplanes typically sport moving map GPSs and possibly even integrated glass cockpits. These new avionics make flying safer and easier, but they do add some new responsibilities for the pilot in command. That’s why a ground power unit (GPU) can be so valuable. These increasingly powerful devices make it easy to run your panel without starting the engine, depleting your battery, or running the Hobbs. Here’s how to find the right one for your airplane.



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What aircraft are included in the new X-Plane 12?

The team at Laminar Research has long been working on improving the X-Plane platform and just recently the newest version debuted, X-Plane 12. Everything from wake turbulence produced by wide body aircraft to supersonic flight has been critiqued and fiddled with until it was ready for the community. But what good is a flight simulator if you don’t have great aircraft to fly? Enjoy a quick review of the aircraft changes from X-Plane 11 to X-Plane 12.

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Different Grades of Oxygen and How They Pertain to Pilots

Aviators find themselves using oxygen as they explore higher altitudes in non-pressurized cockpits. This brings up an important question: what are the differences between the different grades of oxygen? Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. There are three main types of oxygen.

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Sporty's kicks off EAA Young Eagles "30 flights for 30 years" campaign

This year is a milestone for the EAA Young Eagles program, and Sporty's is joining the celebration. The program was launched 30 years ago at Oshkosh 1992, and since then more than 2.2 million kids have received a free airplane ride to discover the wonder of flight. It's the most successful youth aviation program in history—but we're just getting started.

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Oxygen connectors in general aviation aircraft

Some aircraft were manufactured with built-in oxygen systems. These are commonly found in high performance aircraft with turbocharged engines. When these aircraft were made, each manufacturer could pick which connector to use in their system. Portable manufacturers entered the fray and used different connectors. What we are left with is a whole lot of connectors without much consistency. You might think it will take a special decoder ring to figure out what connector you need for your 1972 Cessna T210 (PB-2 for the record), but it doesn’t have to be that hard. There are six main connectors to consider.  

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