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GPS Flight Recorder Comparison

This page includes an overview of GPS Flight Recorder systems, example systems, and a comparison table.

The example systems on this page include flight recorders only - not more advanced flight computer systems.  To see example systems including more advanced flight computers with integral flight recorders please see the Flight Computers Comparison page.

Related Pages

GPS Flight Recorders
Manufacturer
Click on link to see details
Description

Photos
Click on image to see details

Logo

Air Avionics Air Glide Vario
ClearNav Instruments

ClearNav II flight computer
CNv XC Variometer

FLARM PowerFLARM Portable
PowerFLARM Core

LX Navigation

Colibri II - GPS flight recorder vario and thermal assistant and built-in battery
LX EOS variometer with IGC approved flight recorder
LX Zeus 2.8 flight computer with EOS vario
LX Zeus 4.3 flight computer with EOS vario
LX Zeus 5.5 flight computer with EOS vario
LX Zeus 7.0 flight computer with EOS vario

     

LXNAV

Nano GPS flight recorder
Nano3 GPS flight recorder with vario and navigation display
LX8000 Flight Computer with Vario
LX8080 Flight Computer with Vario
LX9000 Flight Computer with Vario
LX9050 Flight Computer with Vario
LX9070 Flight Computer with Vario

       

Naviter

Oudie IGC

Overview
After starting with a PDA/GPS System, the next step taken in expanding the capability of the soaring flight system is the purchase of an IGC approved GPS Flight Recorder.  IGC approval is required if the system is to be used to document badge, record or contest flights.  GPS Flight Recorders (sometimes called loggers) consist of a GPS, a pressure transducer (used to measure altitude), a processor, and memory chips that are used to record the GPS position and pressure altitude every few seconds.  Due to the small market size for soaring instruments and the time consuming process of seeking IGC approval, IGC approved flight recorders are somewhat expensive when compared with GPS units designed for larger markets such as hiking and boating. 

Time Savings
If you are accustomed to documenting your soaring flights using a camera and barograph you will find that the use of an IGC approve flight recorder will make your badge and record flying documentation much, much easier for yourself and especially for your Official Observer.  You will no longer have to prepare the camera, the barograph, the declaration form, etc.  You simply do an electronic task declaration in the flight recorder under the supervision of your Official Observer and go fly.  Ok, it is a little more complicated than that, but not much.  Flight recorders really are timesavers before and after the flight.

With or Without a Pocket PC
Many pilots begin with only the flight recorder and use the built-in or optional LCD display for navigation and task declaration entry.  However, it is very common to add a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant - Pocket PC or Palm) running soaring flight software.  PDA systems offer excellent moving maps and final glide information.  They even automatically calculate wind speed and direction while you thermal.

Improved Safety
Pilots that haven't flown with a PDA/GPS system think that they will decrease safety because the pilot will be staring at the PDA rather than keeping their eyes out of the cockpit.  It is my opinion that PDA/GPS systems greatly improve safety because the pilot can glance at the display and know instantly whether he/she is within gliding distance of nearby airports.  All soaring flight software available can highlight reachable airports on the moving map.

What GPS Flight Recorder Systems Can Do What GPS Flight Recorder Systems Can't Do
  • Use GPS Position and Pressure Altitude
  • Moving Map with Waypoints and SUA
  • Final Glide Calculations
  • Reachable Airports Highlighted
  • Record IGC Approved flight logs
  • OK for all contests, badges, and records
  • Tasks
  • Flight Statistics
  • Improved safety through quick access to final glide data
  • Wind speed and direction calculated using drift while circling
  • Portable - maybe
  • 92% of what the high cost systems can do
  • No Vario or averager
  • No Speed-to-fly
  • Can’t calculate wind speed and direction using airspeed and GPS data while cruising

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Example Systems
Below are a few example systems.  I've tried to pull together all the components you need for a complete system.


Example System with PowerFLARM and LXNAV FlarmView or FlarmView57 or FlarmView2
With this unit you get not only a low cost IGC approved flight recorder, but also a traffic and collision avoidance unit.  The FlarmView and FlarmView57 show FLARM, ADS-B and Mode C/S traffic. The FlarmView2 also allows navigation to waypoints and around tasks.

Example System with PowerFLARM Core, LXNAV FlarmView, FlarmView57 or FlarmView2

FlarmView
LXNAV FlarmView
or
FlarmView
LXNAV FlarmView57
or

LXNAV FlarmView2

PowerFLARM Core
with
PowerFLARM-Enable-IGC

LXNAV FlarmView
Traffic Display
or
LXNAV FlarmView57
Traffic Display
or
LXNAV FlarmView2
Traffic Display
with waypoints, airspace,
tasks, and Navigation

  • PowerFLARM Core - IGC Approved GPS Flight Recorder and Traffic and Collision Avoidance unit: $1460
  • PowerFLARM-Enable-IGC - Enable key for IGC approved flight recording: $100
  • Calibration - The PowerFLARM Core's altimeter is not calibrated at the factory. It will need to be calibrated if you want to use it for badge and record validation. If I can calibrate it before shipment for $75.
  • LXNAV FlarmView ($260) or LXNAV FlarmView57 ($325) or LXNAV FlarmView2 ($390) - The FlarmView and FlarmView57 display FLARM, ADS-B and Mode C/S transponder traffic. The FlarmView2 adds waypoints, airspace, tasks and navigation.

Total Price of all the components, upgrades and calibration, with FlarmView: $1895
Total Price of all the components, upgrades and calibration, with FlarmView57: $1960
Total Price of all the components, upgrades and calibration, with FlarmView2: $2025


LXNAV Nano3 with PowerFLARM Core
This system is perfect for anyone who already owns an LXNAV Nano3 and wants to add PowerFLARM traffic. The Nano3's bright color display shows waypoints, airspace, and FLARM, ADS-B and PCAS (Mode C/S transponder) traffic. It can be used to navigate to a waypoint, or around a task.

Example System -  Nano 3 with PowerFLARM Core

PowerFLARM Core

Items for connecting
Nano3 to FLARM

Cumulus-NP-PFlarm-0p3

LXNAV-NanoPower
(included with Nano3)

Cable-USB-miniUSB
(included with Nano3)

LXNAV Nano3

Total Price: $2030


Example System with PowerFLARM, Naviter Oudie and SeeYou Mobile Soaring Flight Software
With this unit you get not only a low cost IGC approved flight recorder, but also a traffic and collision avoidance unit.  The PowerFLARM Core sends GPS and FLARM traffic data to the Oudie.

Example System with PowerFLARM, Naviter Oudie and SeeYou Mobile Soaring Flight Software

PowerFLARM Core
with
PowerFLARM-Enable-IGC

Power/data cable supplied with Oudie
The cable's RJ45 connector plugs directly into the PowerFLARM
The cable is powered with 12V from the glider power system and
supplies 12V power for the PowerFLARM Core and 5 V power for the Oudie.

Naviter Oudie
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std
RAM Arm Mount with Oudie cradle
  • PowerFLARM Core - IGC Approved GPS Flight Recorder and Traffic and Collision Avoidance unit: $1460
  • PowerFLARM-Enable-IGC - Enable key for IGC approved flight recording: $100
  • Calibration - The PowerFLARM Core's altimeter is not calibrated at the factory. It will need to be calibrated if you want to use it for badge and record validation. If I can calibrate it before shipment for $75.
  • Naviter Oudie2 - includes SeeYou Mobile license which is tied to the Oudie: $625
  • Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std - RAM Arm Mount with Oudie cradle, $38.85

Total Price of all the components: $2298.85


Naviter Oudie IGC with Suction Cup Mount - The Ultimate Portable System
This is a great portable system that can log flights for the OLC (Online Contest) and is fully IGC approved for all badges and records and soaring contests.  The Oudie IGC has a built-in aviation grade GPS and comes with SeeYou Mobile soaring flight software.  The Oudie IGC's built-in battery can power it for over 12 hours. The Oudie IGC also has a built-in variometer (not Total Energy compensated) which works great as long as you keep the airspeed relatively constant.
This system does everything that was previously done with an Oudie 2, 5V external battery and LXNAV Nano flight recorder.

Example System with Naviter Oudie IGC and Suction Cup Mount
Naviter Oudie IGC
System
Naviter Oudie IGC
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total: $1219.85

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


LXNAV Nano or Nano3 with Naviter Oudie2 and 5V Battery Pack
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great portable system.  The Nano or Nano3 provides GPS data to the Oudie2.  The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie2 can send an official task declaration to the Nano or Nano3.  The 5V Battery Pack powers both the Nano or Nano3 and the Oudie2 with 5V for over 12 hours.  The system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LXNAV Nano with Naviter Oudie and Socket Mobile Power Pack

or
This is a fantastic portable system.
 
LXNAV Nano
or
LXNAV Nano3
GPS Flight Recorder
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
works great with the Nano
Battery-5V-8000mAh-w-charger Cable-Nano-Oudie-SMPP-1
"Y" Cable for connecting the
Nano to a Naviter Oudie
and 5V Battery Pack.
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price with Nano: $1263.80
Total Price with Nano3: $1368.80

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


LXNAV Nano or Nano3 with Naviter Oudie2 - Powered by 12V Glider Power System
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great system for installation in a sailplane.  The Nano provides GPS data to the Oudie2.  The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie2 can send an official task declaration to the Nano or Nano3.  The NanoPower adapter is powered with 12V from the glider's power system.  It powers both the Nano or Nano3 and Oudie2 with 5V.  The new sunlight readable version of the Oudie is easy to read even in bright sunlight.  The system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LXNAV Nano and Naviter Oudie

or
LXNAV Nano
or
LXNAV Nano3
GPS Flight Recorder
LXNAV-NanoPower Adapter
and Cable-USB-miniUSB
Connect to glider's 12V power system
and it powers the Nano or Nano3
and Oudie with 5V.
Both items are ncluded in box
with Nano or Nano3.
LXNAV CC-NP-Oudie
Cable for connecting Oudie to NanoPower cable
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price with Nano: $1149.85
Total Price with Nano3: $1254.85

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


Naviter Oudie 2 with LX Navigation Colibri II and 5V Battery Pack
Low Cost IGC Approved System for Badge and Record Seekers and Contest Pilots
This is a great portable system.  The Colibri II provides GPS data to the Oudie. The SeeYou Mobile software on the Oudie can send an official task declaration to the Colibri II.  The 5V Battery Pack powers both the Colbri II and the Oudie with 5V for over 12 hours.  If you buy the suction cup mount for the Oudie, the system can be taken with you for use in club and rental gliders. 

Example System -  LX Navigation Colibri II with Naviter Oudie2 and 5V Battery Pack
LX Navigation Colibri II
IGC Approved GPS flight recorder
with vario, Thermal Assistant,
and simple navigation 
Suction Cup Mount for GPS Antenna
works great with the Colibri II
Battery-5V-8000mAh-w-charger Cable-Nano-Oudie-SMPP-1
"Y" Cable for connecting the
Colibri II to a Naviter Oudie
and 5V Battery Pack.
Naviter Oudie2
with
SeeYou Mobile
Oudie-Mount-RAM-SCM
RAM Suction Cup Mount with Oudie cradle

Total Price: $1323.80

Optional
If you want to mount this PNA more permanently, I recommend the Oudie-Mount-RAM-Arm-Std or a Oudie-Mount-GNeck-Panel or Oudie-Mount-GNeck-RA.
or or


Comparison Table
Please note that I'm not 100% certain of all the data in the table below.  I've done my best to get complete and accurate data, but some of it is difficult to find.  If you see any errors or have any suggestions for the table below please let me know.  My goal is to make the table as accurate as possible.
Note: The products did not it onto a page in 1 row so there are multiple rows with products across the top.  Be sure to scroll down to see the other products.

Feature Comparison - More Products Below
  Air Avionics
Air Glide Vario
ClearNav II ClearNav
CNv Variometer with XC Upgrade
PowerFLARM LX Navigation
Colibri II
LX Navigation
EOS
 
Price $3990 $3500 $2300

PowerFLARM Core: $1460
($1720 with display)
PowerFLARM Portable: $2190
IGC Enable: +$100
ENL Enable: +$140

$495 $1810
Overview
Video
   
ClearNav CNv Variometer Overview Video
     
Unique Features Powerful set of sensors, accurate wind calculation while cruising, artificial horizon, simple navigation, simple final glide, FLARM display (FLARM traffic only, not ADS-B or Mode C/S) The ClearNav II is a large, bright, color, navigation display that runs ClearNavigator soaring flight software.  The display has a large and extremely bright screen without the overall dimensions being too large.  I find the remote to be easy to use and the software very intuitive.  The 2 software features that impress me the most are the way area tasks are supported, and the "Glide Amoeba" glide range rings. Made and supported in the USA. Nice speed-to-fly variometer with waypoint and task navigation and built-in IGC approved flight recorder. The high-contrast and high-resolution LCD display is extremely sharp and easy to read in sunlight. Made and supported in the USA. Works great with the ClearNav color flight computer or optional small CNd LCD navigation display. PowerFLARM products are traffic warning devices. They alert you to other nearby FLARM equipped aircraft and also to ADS-B and Mode C/S transponder equipped aircraft. The built-in GPS flight recorder is not calibrated at the factory. I can calibrated them here for $75. An IGC Enable key must be purchased ($100) if you want to use it as an IGC approved flight recorder. Motorglider owners will also need to buy the optional ENL enable key for $140. A very powerful little IGC approved flight recorder with audio vario (not TE compensated) with Thermal Assistant and simple navigation. I don't think the non-TE compensated vario will be that useful to many sailplane pilots but it is nice to have as a backup. The built-in color LCD display and multi-function switch make it possible to edit and declare tasks at the gliderport without the need for a PC or PDA. The built-in battery lasts for 4 to 6 hours. A very powerful speed-to-fly vario with built-in IGC approved GPS flight recorder. It includes a FLARM display, thermal assistant, and simple navigation with waypoints and tasks displayed on a moving map.
Dimensions It fits in 57 mm instrument hole, however,
the face of the unit is larger than most other instruments,
so it may not fit where other instruments
have been mounted previously.
4.3"w x 5.8"h x 1.1"d
(109mm x 147mm x 27mm)
Fits in a standard 57 mm (2 1/8") instrument hole
The ADC sensor unit can be mounted to the
back of the vario, or remotely mounted.
Core: 79.5 x 115.5 x 40 mm (3.13 x 4.55 x 1.57 inches)
Portable: 94 x 94 x 46mm (3.7 x 3.7 x 1.8 inches)
40 x 62 x 22 mm
(1.57 x 2.44 x 0.87 inches)
Fits in a standard 57 mm (2 1/8") instrument hole
  Air Avionics
Air Glide Vario
ClearNav II ClearNav
CNv Variometer with XC Upgrade
PowerFLARM LX Navigation
Colibri II
LX Navigation
EOS
Power (mA) 100 mA, ~500 mA (at 12V)        
Weight   ~1 lb (450 g)

 

 

Core: 9.0 ounces (255 grams)
Portable: ?
9.9 oz
(280 g)
 
From Germany USA USA Switzerland Slovenia Slovenia
Flight Log Memory
(Time shown is based on a 4 second recording interval.  Longer recording periods are possible with longer recording intervals.)
Virtually
Unlimited
Virtually
Unlimited
Virtually
Unlimited
Virtually
Unlimited
Virtually
Unlimited
Virtually
Unlimited
Waypoint Memory ? Unlimited Unlimited   500 Unlimited
Task Memory     1   100 100
Memory Wraps when full and writes over the oldest flight log in memory (as opposed to stopping logging when full) • • •  
Moving Map with waypoints and Special Use Airspace   Optional CNd NAV LCD navigation display
(waypoints and area tasks - no airspace)
With optional LXNAV FlarmView2 Moving Map with waypoints
no airspace display
Moving Map with waypoints
no airspace display
  Air Avionics
Air Glide Vario
ClearNav II ClearNav
CNv Variometer with XC Upgrade
PowerFLARM LX Navigation Colibri II LX Navigation
EOS
Thermal Centering Aid      
Provides 5V power for Pocket PC          
Final Glide Computer •    
Turnpoint Area Task Support   With optional LXNAV FlarmView2
Vario with Averager and Audio •   •  
Speed-to-fly Director •   •    
Wind Speed & Direction Calculation Airspeed & GPS GPS While Circling Airspeed & GPS   GPS While Circling Airspeed & GPS
IGC Approval All Record Types All Record Types All Record Types Up to and including
the three diamond badges
(not world or national records)
All All
  Air Avionics
Air Glide Vario
ClearNav II ClearNav
CNv Variometer with XC Upgrade
PowerFLARM LX Navigation Colibri II LX Navigation
EOS
 

 

  LX Navigation
Zeus with EOS
LXNAV
Nano
LXNAV
Nano3
LXNAV
LX80x0 and LX90x0
Naviter
Oudie IGC
 
 


LX Zeus 2.8 with EOS vario


LX Zeus 4.3 with EOS vario


LX Zeus 5.5 with EOS vario


LX Zeus 7.0 with EOS vario

 


LX8080 with V8 vario


LX8000 with V8 vario


LX9050 with V8 vario


LX9000 with V8 vario


LX9070 with V8 vario

 
Price LX Zeus 2.8 with EOS: $3500
LX Zeus 4.3 with EOS: $4410
LX Zeus 5.5 with EOS: $4745
LX Zeus 2.8 with EOS: $4745
$470 $585

LX8080 with V9: $3575, with V8 or V80: $4055
LX8000 with V9: $3795, with V8 or V80: $4725
LX9050 with V9: $4420, with V8 or V80: $4900
LX9000 with V9: $5095, with V8 or V80: $5575
LX9070 with V9: $5095, with V8 or V80: $5575

$1160  
Overview
Video
 


LXNAV Nano Overview Video


LXNAV Nano 3 Overview Video


New LX9000 Overview & Training Video
   
Unique Features The LX Zeus products are extremely powerful and full-featured soaring flight computer systems. They feature very bright color displays and EOS variometers with built-in IGC approved flight recorders. Glide range graphic shows gliding range in all directions. Optional stick-mounted remote and AHRS. The Nano is a fantastic little GPS flight recorder with full IGC approval for all badge, record and contest flights. It is extremely small and includes a built-in GPS engine, built-in GPS antenna, built-in battery, and logger. It is also extremely easy to use. Just use the built-in setup software to enter your name, glider data and task declaration, then turn it on and go fly. The Nano 3 is a fantastic little GPS flight recorder with full IGC approval for all badge, record and contest flights. It is extremely small and includes a built-in GPS engine, built-in GPS antenna, built-in battery, and logger. It is also extremely easy to use. It also features a built-in variometer (not Total Energy compensated) and a navigation display which shows waypoints, airspace, tasks, etc.

The LX80x0 and LX90x0 products are perhaps the ultimate soaring flight computers. They offer extremely bright color displays and every software function you could imagine. The are available with V9, V8 or V80 variometers. Optional stick-mounted remote and AHRS. The video above shows many of the features of the LX9000. I fly with the LX9000 in our DG-1000S.

 

The Naviter Oudie is an extremely popular product with thousands in use in sailplanes around the world. The Oudie IGC version has the same bright screen and processor as the Oudie but adds a built-in IGC approved flight recorder, audio vario (not Total Energy compensated) and large battery good for 12+ hours. It is the perfect device to use in your own glider, or take with you in a club or rental glider.  
Dimensions LX Zeus 2.8: 80 x 80 x 55 mm
LX Zeus 4.3: 136 x 83 x ?? mm
LX Zeus 5.5: 146 x 106 x ?? mm
LX Zeus 7.0: 110 x 190 x ?? mm
LX EOS: 60 x 60 x ?? mm
60 x 40 x 20 mm
(2.36 x 1.57 x 0.79 inches)
65 x 42 x 22 mm
(2.6 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches)
LX8080: 81 x 81 x 65 mm
LX8000: 98 x 88 x 65 mm
LX9050: 136 x 83 x 65 mm
LX9000: 145 x 113 x 38 mm
LX9070: 180 x 113 x 38 mm
V9: 61 x 61 x 92mm
V8: 61 x 61 x 95mm
V80: 81 x 81 x 130mm
135 x 86 x 25 mm
(5.3 x 3.4 x 0.98 inches)

 

  LX Navigation
Zeus with EOS
LXNAV
Nano
LXNAV
Nano3
LXNAV
LX80x0 and LX90x0
Naviter
Oudie IGC
 
Power (mA)

Zeus 2.8: 300 mA
Zeus 4.3: 300 mA
Zeus 5.5: 400 mA
Zeus 7.0: 500 to 550 mA
EOS: 200? mA

   

LX8080: 280 mA
LX8000: 230 to 290 mA
LX9050: 380 to 480 mA
LX9000: 400 to 500 mA
LX9070: 380 to 480 mA
V9: 100 mA
V8: 100 mA
V80: 100 mA

   
Weight   ~66g (2.3 ounces) ~76g      
From Slovenia Slovenia Slovenia Slovenia Slovenia  
Flight Log Memory
(Time shown is based on a 4 second recording interval.  Longer recording periods are possible with longer recording intervals.)
Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited  
Waypoint Memory Virtually unlimited number of waypoint files,
up to 2000 waypoints in each waypoint file
  Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited  
Task Memory     Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited Virtually Unlimited  
Memory Wraps when full and writes over the oldest flight log in memory (as opposed to stopping logging when full) • • • •    
Moving Map with waypoints and Special Use Airspace Map   Map Map Map  
  LX Navigation
Zeus with EOS
LXNAV
Nano
LXNAV
Nano3
LXNAV
LX80x0 and LX90x0
Naviter
Oudie IGC
 
Thermal Centering Aid      
Provides 5V power for Pocket PC   The included NanoPower adapter
is powered with
12V and can be used to
power a PDA with 5V.
The included NanoPower adapter
is powered with
12V and can be used to
power a PDA with 5V.
     
Final Glide Computer     •  
Turnpoint Area Task Support   • •  
Vario with Averager and Audio   • •  
Speed-to-fly Director     •    
Wind Speed & Direction Calculation Airspeed & GPS     Airspeed & GPS GPS While Circling  
IGC Approval All All All All All  
  LX Navigation
Zeus with EOS
LXNAV
Nano
LXNAV
Nano3
LXNAV
LX80x0 and LX90x0
Naviter
Oudie IGC
 

Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Paul E. Remde

8661 Connelly Place
Savage, Minnesota 55378
USA


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