The IC-A25NE is the latest 8.33 handheld from leading manufacturer Icom. Stylish and packed with features including Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to display navigational information from flight plans uploaded from Andriod or iOS devices, it is designed to ‘change the way pilots fly’

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Just launched, the compact IC-A25NE is the latest development in airband radio technology, according to manufacturer Icom. Featuring built-in Bluetooth, GPS and VOR navigation functions, it certainly is much more than a simple comms device.

The ‘stylish modern design’ is reminiscent of a mobile phone (which of course is all about an easy-to-use interface) and its large 2.3-inch LCD is aimed at providing ‘stress-free’ programming and easy in-flight operation. The LCD can be set to night mode for easy viewing in dark environments. The unit has IP57 dust-protection and waterproof construction.

For expanded communication coverage, output power has been increased to approximately 6W typical (PEP) 1.8W (carrier) compared to the IC-A24E’s 5/1.5 W (PEP/carrier). A ‘Flip-Flop’ channel feature allows pilots to store the last ten channels used, and quickly switch between them. There are 300 memory channels (in fifteen memory groups) with twelve-character names.

The near station search function could be useful in getting one out of trouble, searching the station memories with the GPS position information.

Icom claims the navigation features in the IC-A25NE ‘will change the way pilots fly’. Certainly it is capable of being uploaded with flight plans from an Android or iOS device, imported via Bluetooth. While using GPS, the waypoint NAV will guide pilots to their destination. Up to ten flight plans and 300 waypoints can be stored.

The unit is supplied with a large 2,350mAh Li-ion ‘intelligent battery’ which provides detailed status information and up to 10.5 hours of operating time. A back-up pack, taking six AA-size alkaline batteries, is also provided. Other accessories supplied include a BNC antenna, belt clip, handstrap, headset adapter, cigar-lighter power adaptor and mains battery charger.

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