B2500 Advanced Soaring Flight computer
Situational awareness at a glance plus Voice status and Warning system
*current screen display varies slightly from example above.
The B2500 symbolic display was designed to answer the soaring pilot’s questions:
- Where do I need to go?
- How does that relate to where I am now going ?
- Do I have the altitude to get there at some desired height above the ground?
- What is the wind in relation to my current track?
- What is the wind in relation to my track to the next turnpoint?
- Has the wind changed recently?
- Can I reach a suitable landing option?
- Should I remain in this thermal?
- On area tasks, how am I going against the minimum task time? Can I turn now?
* current screen display varies slightly from example above.
When climbing the display changes and the cruise wind data is replaced by a bar graph display showing average over the whole flight, current thermal average, 20 second average and current Macready setting. Without reading any numbers you can tell if this thermal is worthwhile compared to the whole flight so far, if it is weakening or strengthening and how the Macready setting relates to all this.
This answers the main question while climbing – is this thermal a good one or should I consider leaving?
At the same time the display still shows direction to next turnpoint and wind direction.
Added to a B500 variometer system the B2500 performs all soaring navigation, glide calculations and meteorological information functions and displays them on a simple, clearly presented graphical symbolic display requiring minimum pilot workload for interpretation.
The instrument may also be operated “stand alone” as a soaring optimised GPS unit with suitable GPS data input from a commercial GPS or GPS mouse. There is some small loss of functionality due to lack of air data input.
Previously most flight computers have displayed much data in alphanumeric format and while the data may have been accurate it required too much mental effort to derive meaning and hence to be able to make decisions based on it.
Others have featured highly detailed moving map displays which are eminently suited to IFR navigation in powered aircraft but this isn’t the task at hand in a soaring computer.
Almost all have required excessive pilot interaction with switches/buttons/touch screens/menus in a feedback loop with the instrument. Obviously this is not ideal. It results in less time to look OUTSIDE the cockpit.
The B2500 Situational Awareness display de-clutters the displayed information to the essentials for quick decision making and instant understanding.
As much as possible the B2500 is operated “open loop”. MacCready, bugs and ballast settings are automatically transferred from the B500 and a pilot quickly learns how many clicks left or right from the main flight display to call up in flight statistics, task planning, moving map or landing site displays. The pilot can look outside while doing this and when he next scans the panel the desired information is there.
Other notable B2500 features
Mark a position, decide to fly to it some time later then return to task navigation all without interacting with the screen.
- One button push alternates between a selected landing option and the task
- Continuous automatic in flight progress statistics.
- Predicted time to finish based on real achieved rate of climb in flight.
- Simple and logical task programming/editing on the ground and in flight for pilot option tasks.
- Turnpoint rounding is automatic (fixed tasks) or pilot commanded for area type tasks.
- Final glide around all remaining turnpoints as well as next turnpoint at the same time.
- Glideslope display is the same as in professional aviation instruments (the slope bar moves, the glider symbol is fixed) plus numerical altitude surplus/deficit shown.
- Simple “direct to” mode – allows temporary off task flying without disruption of task statistics.
- Moving map mode showing observation zone, task tracks and airspace boundaries.
- Status lights for diagnostics and extra situational awareness.
- Turn point and airspace database and pilot optional settings/flight recorder management by mini SD card via built in card slot.
- Voice output for status and warnings. Customer configurable for language and message format (make your own .wav files and store on card).
- real time wind component
- wind vector calculation simultaneously from drift in thermal while circling and “zig – zag” wind.
- “zig – zag” wind provides faster wind vector updates while thermalling, while making track changes in cruising flight or while ridge soaring.
- wind change alert in cruise
- wind shear indicator while climbing
All the information a soaring pilot needs for better and faster decision making with less workload equals more time to look outside to look at the magnificent view, clouds, birds, other gliders and air traffic.
- Panel mounted LCD display
- Wide temperature range
- Temperature compensated
- High contrast display easily visible under any glider cockpit lighting conditions.
- Low power – only 60mA at 12 volts. This instrument won’t kill batteries or require glider power system upgrades.
- No batteries, memory backup by supercap
- Compact size – fits over space for standard 80mm panel hole, only 32mm deep in front of panel.
- Simple, intuitive control interface. No messy, difficult to use touch screens.
- IGC format flight recorder built-in. GPS altitude only, no pressure altitude. Not IGC approved but may be used for contests depending on local rules.
- Easy database/pilot setup options/logger downloads with mini SD card via the built in card slot.
- Does not run under PDA or PC operating systems. Uses an industrial instrumentation and control module with programming language optimised for stability.
Download B2500 manual as PDF file: B2500man.pdf