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Placement of portable devices in the cockpit

Ladies and gentlemen, can anyone recommend a good cockpit mounting system for various portable devices – GPS units, tablets, radios, whatever? In particular, is there any type of suction cup that won’t fall off the canopy? Or any good mounts for the area behind the centre console?
And another question for those flying with touchscreen tablets: where do you prefer to have them in flight – on the kneeboard, on the yoke, between the seats, on the glareshield, hanging off the canopy/ceiling, elsewhere?


P.S. I have to admit a Freudian slip when writing the last question. The initial wording was ‘between her seats’. Oh well, an aircraft is a ‘she’, anyway.

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 29 Jun 23:24
LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

I like iPad mini on the yoke.

EGTK Oxford

I use a suction cup articulated Ram mount on the lower left portion of the windscreen, with a iPad Mini. Its angled right and up to face me, works well and and doesn’t come loose. I can access it comfortably with my right hand.

Ram mount suction cups seem to be the most reliable, noticeably better than others I tried, but interestingly two of them for one device seems to be less reliable than one. Maybe the windscreen changes size in the sun between them and pulls them loose in shear. Or they can’t align properly to the surface underneath when tied to each other. Dunno.

The lighter the portable, the better they work with a suction cup mount. A full size iPad is too heavy in my experience.

Just remember to moisten the inside of the suction cup to ensure a good seal.

I have a giant ipad so am placing it on my left leg with kneeboard on right.

EGLM (White Waltham)

Re suction cups, you can get very strong ones like the ones I used here

Yes you do have to moisten them but they can fall off even then, which is why I use a safety strap as shown here

IMHO it’s OK for fixing a Go-Pro on the bonnet of a car or whatever and the worst that can happen is that you lose a 300 quid camera…

The Ipad Mini can often be yoke mounted and is probably quite good for running say JeppTC to display terminal charts, or JeppFD if you want an enroute map also. Or I guess Skydemon, but whether you can read the A4 AIP charts on it would depend on your eyesight (I would not be able to).

My view (not shared by many ) is that the Ipad has the best implementation of the finger interface and is good for a specific type of narrow usage. I nearly bought one just to run JeppTC. Unfortunately I have nowhere to mount it.

Last Edited by Peter at 30 Jun 06:52
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The last time I was involved with suction cups on aircraft windshields it was expensive.

One of the pilots that flies our Citation had a sun shade that stuck on with suction cups.
When the aircraft was sold the buyer snagged it on small marks on the windshield, which were deemed by the service centre to be outside of acceptable limits as they fell within the critical viewing are as defined in the maintenance manual.
Attempts to polish them were unsuccessful, the suction cups seemed to have reacted with the screen in a subtle way that meant the defect was not just on the surface, and polishing deep enough to get rid of them caused optical distortion.

Result? New windshield, cost $38,000 installed.

Watch out.

Last Edited by Neil at 30 Jun 07:55
Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

My view (not shared by many ) is that the Ipad has the best implementation of the finger interface and is good for a specific type of narrow usage. I nearly bought one just to run JeppTC. Unfortunately I have nowhere to mount it.

Well I would agree with it, I use my ipad as a handheld GPS. I just have it on my right leg (there’s no space anywhere else to put it where it’s in easy view) and the touch interface works extremely well. (I specifically bought the iPad to use as a GPS, both for flying and driving)

Andreas IOM

iPads are unfortunately a real issue in a standard light a/c cockpit. In most yoke mounted situations, they obscure too much of the panel, put on the glareshield they overheat.

I usually have mine resting loosely on my normal kneeboard, if flying alone it lives on top of my flight bag in the copilot’s seat. In ForeFlight (if only that were available for Europe!) you also have an integrated notepad that obviates the need for a pen-and-paper surface. That said, I usually still jot down frequencies on, ahem, paper…

As a backup I run ForeFlight on my iPhone which is mounted on the left hand side of the windshield were it is flat (this is a Cessna solution). Suction mount is a standard automotive GPS holder. Works well, but does occasionally come off at altitude when the windshield gets cold. Tends to happen in cruise, so while annoying, no big deal. The iPhone can also get a real-time (or near real time) wx overlay in ForeFlight. Works a treat, but sucks the battery dry in no time.

Rammount is the best

IPad Mini2 is great. I have it yokemounted with Ram pieces

Note the difference with a normal IPad (on the right yoke). That is jammed in between.

Last Edited by Commander at 30 Jun 10:29

I use a RAM mount on the Yoke, with an iPad air. I just dont have the faith in something suction mounted (even if is by RAM, who make exceedingly good devices) on a heavy iPad Air (oh that sounds like a contradiction in terms), and a 1979 PA28 plastic window. An iPhone, yes, an iPad, not for me.

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