September 2011 Issue

Matchbox FC-1: Smart and Simple

The Flight Companion gives plug-and-play altitude and fuel-tank alerting, as well as a jack for your tunes or phone. Usability is good, but not perfect.

In a marketplace of electronic gadgets that do everything short of sump the gas on preflight, it’s refreshing to find something as simple and task-focused as Matchbox’s Flight Companion. With five buttons and six lights, you don’t need a training video just to turn it on. In fact, the owner’s manual is one page. And the other side is blank. Plug your headset into the FC-1, plug the FC-1 into the ship’s audio system and push the on button to start. That’s enough to get a fuel tank reminder every 30 minutes, both through your headset and with a flashing light on the FC-1 itself.

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