Aviation publisher Padpilot has launched a subscription-based content platform that allows its pilot training manuals to be accessed on any device, Apple or android, via an app or online browser.

The new ‘eReader’ is available for Padpilot’s ATPL-A and PPL-A theory books and gives student pilots access to the same content – including the interactivity – as their existing Apple Books, plus additional new features such as built-in reading time recording and the ability to write on pages with a stylus, without the need for a particular device.

The ATPL-H series for helicopter pilot training will be available via the Padpilot eReader in the summer.

CEO Graham Cownie explained: “We previously published only on Apple as it was more secure, and the operating system was consistent across all device types. This kept the user experience consistent and allowed us to be fast and efficient with book updates when regulations, technology or charts changed.

“For years we’ve been asked for an android version, but we needed to find a way to give users the same high-quality, interactive experience while studying. And then when Apple withdrew its support for the iBook Author platform, we knew it was time to create our own delivery system.”

Apple may have discontinued their ‘iBook Author’ service but have stated there are no plans to discontinue the Books themselves. Padpilot’s existing theory books (for PPL-A, CBIR, ATPL-A and ATPL_H) are not being discontinued, and Padpilot will continue to update and sell their Apple Book products for as long as the iBook platform exists. However, the new eReader is another home for the same content and allows Padpilot to manage its own delivery platform.

As well as its interactive textbooks for the theoretical knowledge phase, Padpilot offers pilot training providers a range of ground school resources including instructor presentations, learning management systems, compliance, technical and customer support. Because the new eReader book content exactly mirrors the existing iBooks, training providers can seamlessly switch from iBooks to the eReader without having to change lesson plans or classroom presentations.

Eight of Padpilot’s 140 partners have already adopted the new platform and initial feedback from 180 users is excellent with around 60% of eReader users studying for their ground school exams via the browser option. Student pilots say they appreciate being able to use existing devices without having to purchase a new iPad for ground school.

Atlantic Flight Training Academy, based at Cork Airport, are one of the first flight schools to offer the eReader platform to its ATPL students. Theoretical Knowledge Instructor, Graeme Rouncivell commented, “The books are easy to use and user friendly for any application. The new editing tool is a great feature and students find navigating through the material, given the large volume of content, is easy to do and to understand.”