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The E6B flight computer is a classic and time tested pilot tool. There is a learning curve, and one should practice regularly to stay proficient. Unfortunately we don't always have an E6B with us. Now you  can have the application in your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. You could even use it for flight planning and in the plane if you need to.

For flight instructors the HDMI output built into the Z10 and Q10 will allow you to display the application on a high definition TV or Monitor to help your students grasp use of this important tool.

BBM Channel C001216D5

Circular Slide Rule

The circular slide rule presents the classic two dial calculator. Both dials are rotated using swipe gestures. To rotate the inner dial start with your finger just inside the outer edge of the dial and move it around the center. You don't need to stay inside the lines until you release your finger the gesture will stay bound to the inner dial. The outer dial is moved the same way, but the inner dial always moves with the outer dial. This is similar to rotating the whole E6B as a unit to put the part of the outer dial of interest at the top.

Once the appropriate positioning of the inner and outer dials is set for the calculation you may lock the rings together by pressing the Lock/Unlock button on the action bar. This will prevent accidentally changing the dial configuration. There are a number of pre-set computations available on the overflow menu. These position the two rings and lock them together.

The numbers inside the dials readout the values of the two dials at the top, the red number the outer dial, the blue number the inner dial. This makes reading the computer easier than trying to estimate values from the display.

Below are two images, on the left the overflow menu on a Z10, on the right the main display on a Q10.

Wind Computer

On a separate tab you will find the Wind Computer. This should be familiar to most pilots. The grommet is represented by a blue circle, the wind dot by a red 'X'. The values associated with these two elements are displayed in the same colors.

Data entry is accomplished by swiping to move the compass rose, wind dot and the vector slider. What gets moved, and where the data goes depends on the values of two toggle buttons on the action bar. When the Wind/Slider toggle button is in the Wind mode the user may set the wind direction on the compass rose, and the wind velocity by swiping towards or away from the grommet. In this mode the wind dot only moves up and down so you can move your finger around the display to keep it out of the way.

Once the wind is set, pressing the Wind/Slider sets data input into the Slider mode. The user may set the True Track on the compass rose and drag the slider up and down to set the True Air Speed under the wind dot. Ground speed is read from under the grommet, the wind correction angle and Ground Speed is read under the wind dot. The pictures below show these two steps performed on a Z10. Wind values, set by the wind dot are red. True Track and Ground Speed are set by the compass rose and the slider under the grommet and are in blue. True Heading and True Airspeed are determined by the wind dot over the slider and are displayed in pink (blue + red).


The final mode is set by the Random Wind toggle. When this is enabled the user can place the wind dot anywhere. With the computer in Slider mode and the Track Made Good on the compass rose and Ground Speed set under the grommet allows the wind dot to be placed at the appropriate location for True Air Speed and Wind Correction angle. This computes an unknown wind.

The picture below shows the final configuration on a Q10. Some modification of the display was required to get all the information on screen and maintain the size of the wind computer display.