January 1998 Issue

Electronic E6Bs

They’re useful mostly for written exams. Sporty’s has the best deal.

One of the most ubiquitous pilot gadgets is the electronic E6B. Sporty’s says it has sold 100,000 of its model, which equates to one in six of all certificated pilots—student and otherwise—in the U.S. That’s a lot of calculators.

Do pilots use them? Well, yes. Some do. At the very least, they’re useful when seeking a higher rating, saving the trudge of doing weight-and-balance by hand or putting a sharper point on ETA calculations when minutes matter.

For this report, we tried the three major contenders, the aforementioned Sporty’s, ASA’s CX-1a Pathfinder and Jeppesen’s TechStar.

As far as the basic functions go, there’s little practical difference among the three. Any one of...

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