Today’s cross–country soaring pilot must gather, display and assimilate a large amount of information. In most glider cockpits, this is still being accomplished with a collection of equipment including a GPS receiver, flight recorder and PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).
Real–world experience with this approach reveals severe limitations: PDA’s weren't designed for aircraft use and are too small and dim to effectively supply information to a busy pilot in a sunlit cockpit. Cabling and connectors tend not to be rugged, so failures are all too common. Flight recorders require tedious and slow file downloads.