Avionics Report

June 2010 Issue

Anywhere Map Quadra: A Shirt-Pocket MFD

It offers surprisingly useable approach plates and many powerful GPS features. We’d like to see a brighter screen and a bit more software stability.

Our first reaction when pulling the Quadra from its box was, "That thing’s tiny. I’m gonna be able to read an approach plate or sectional chart on that? No way." Well, actually, yes way. The Quadra’s 4.3-inch screen has an 800 x 480 resolution. (For reference, a Garmin aera is the same screen size but has 480 x 272 resolution and Avidyne’s 5.8-inch EX600 panel-mount MFD has a 640 x 480 resolution.) As long as your eyeglass prescription is up to date all map elements, scanned charts and approach plates set to match the width of the screen were readable at the distance to the yoke or nearby window mount. The heart of the Quadra are six, user-configurable moving map layouts. These come preconfigured for sectional charts—actual, scanned sectionals with the aircraft plotted on top of them—terrain, airways, night, weather and emergency. You use the layout that works best when you need it, similar to switching between different screens on a panel-mount MFD.

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