Man has been fascinated with the mysteries of the great sky above our head since the dawn of time.
Cultures across the world have included worship of various flying creatures and gods for millennia, as well as having a reverence for many flying creatures in nature.
Let us not forget that it was only a little over a century ago in 1903 that the Wright Brothers completed the world's first successful flight of a powered heavier-than-air flying vehicle.
In the time that's passed since that fateful date, man has not only conquered the sky, but has also taken the first steps into exploring our galaxy and beyond.
This fascination with the unknown still strikes true for many, and it is a driving force behind so many people wanting to become pilots.
Long gone are the days of dazzling fly boy pilots with a beautiful woman on each arm, as the industry has moved forwards to be inclusive and increasingly diverse.
The pilots' life is still one wished for by many, with opportunities in the commercial and private sectors expanding rapidly.
As well as years of technical training, education, and practice hours, pilots need all manner of kit and equipment to help them stay organized in the air.
One such piece of kit is that of the pilot's kneeboard.
Unless you are a pilot yourself or have more than a passing industry in the profession, you would be forgiven for not knowing what a pilot kneeboard is.
It does sound more like something one would use in an extreme sport than in a pilot's cockpit!
A kneeboard is an essential piece of kit that a pilot can use for organizing essential paperwork, data, charts, and notes that they may need during their flight.
They are often attached via strap to the knee, hence the name ‘Kneeboard’.
But why would a pilot require one?
Well, quite simply, they don't want to be frantically searching through their bags to find important information when they need to focus on flying.
A kneeboard allows the pilot to have everything they require easily at hand and accessible, ensuring safety and focus on the flight.
Read on to discover the Best Pilot Kneeboards on the market today, as we examine their design, features, and usability.
OUR TOP PICK
The FlyBoys Reversible Kneeboard is jam-packed with features for pilots of all levels.
Constructed from durable D600 Nylon Fabric, the material is hard-wearing against wear and tear and provides extended longevity.
The SafeFlex plastic clipboard fits comfortably and securely whilst offering a great writing surface for taking down notes.
The clear PVC retention strap will keep your notes secure whilst not affecting visibility.
A great addition that allows for hooking on various notes and charts is the detachable eyelet strip, whilst it also has a pen holder and a Velcro attachable zipper pouch for additional storage.
- D600 Nylon Fabric for durability and longevity
- Ambidextrous design for left and right-handed pilots
- SafeFlex plastic clipboard
- Detachable eyelet strip for additional storage
- A clear PVC retention strap
- Some users said the design is a little small for them
This can also be purchased from FlyBoys.
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Designed with additional storage in mind, this great kneeboard from ASA will ensure you keep your cockpit organized, and your mind focused on flying.
The trifold design creates extra storage. The left panel is for notes, small books, and papers and the right panel has a clear pocket for using maps.
The center panel is covered in clear plastic to ensure it remains highly visible. Users can create a secure and comfortable fit using the adjustable Velcro strap.
- Trifold design for extra storage
- Left panel for notes, center for charts, and clear pocket on right for maps
- Adjustable Velcro strap for leg
- Smart and sleek design for use in professional environments
- Some users advised too small for their charts
This can also be purchased from ASA.
This basic design may not have the extra features or additional storage of some models, though to be fair, not everyone needs that.
This simple and elegant design will be perfect for the low-maintenance pilot and learners who simply need to make notes when flying.
The design is incredibly lightweight and easy to secure to your leg in no time.
The clipboard itself is also covered in useful VFR flight information including communication frequencies, CFR cruising altitudes, weather report sequences, and more.
- Stripped back design
- VFR information contained
- Lightweight and easy to secure
- Pen holder for quick note-taking
- Durable brushed aluminum frame
- Some users report the edges are surprisingly sharp
This can also be purchased from Aircraft Spruce.
Tablet Compatible Kneeboards
This Universally compatible EFB Pilot Kneeboard from MYGOFLIGHT ticks a lot of boxes and looked good when I first saw it.
The sleek and sophisticated black leather exterior gives the model a professional look.
The design is multipurpose, making it a great protective case and stand for your tablet in and out of the cockpit.
As well as being compatible with all iPad Mini models, it is also universally compatible with other 7” to 8” tablets.
The 360° screen rotation is a handy feature and allows for quickly switching the view of your screen.
I found that the Kneeboard fits comfortably and securely to my leg, whilst it was easy to use with one hand.
The design also allows for easy access to all the device's buttons, controls, and ports for easy use and to aid quick connectivity.
There is also a one-year manufacturer's warranty included in the purchase in case of any issues.
- Universal compatibility for iPad Mini and other 7” and 8” tablets
360° screen rotation
- Multipurpose for use at home, on the go, and in-flight
- Black leather exterior and microfiber lining
- One-year manufacturers warranty
- Some reports of broken plastic connecting tablet to the kneeboard
This can also be purchased from Sporty’s.
This offering from the team at Crystal Pilot has 3-in-1 functionality as well as a smart design.
It works as a kneeboard, clipboard, and tablet holder for use in the cockpit, at home, or on the go.
It is compatible with iPad Mini 3 and 4, as well as Android devices that also have a 7.9-inch screen. The tablet holder is removable, allowing the user to focus on writing notes on the clipboard easily.
There is ample additional storage space provided, with a side pocket, dual pen holder, and a smartphone holder all attachable via the Velcro panel.
This might be a small detail but allows for the user to set up the kneeboard depending on their intended activity.
- Compatible with 7.9” iPad Mini and similarly sized Android devices
- 3-in-1 functionality (Kneeboard, clipboard & tablet holder)
- Removable tablet holder
- Durable construction using aluminum
- Storage via side pockets, pen holder, and smartphone holder
- Some reports of the stitching coming apart after extended use
DESIGN 4 PILOTS have made a quality kneeboard that is both incredibly practical and aesthetically pleasing.
It's made from eco-friendly leather, so you can look professional whilst reducing your environmental footprint.
The kneeboard lends itself to being suitable in and out of the cockpit, with the anti-slip pads ensuring both a comfortable fit and a secure attachment.
The microfiber interior material will ensure the tablet screen is protected from scratches and damage.
Not only is this compatible with the iPad Mini generations 1 to 4, but it will also work with Android devices that are between 7” and 8.5” in size.
- Compatible with both iPad Mini 1 to 4 and 7” - 8.5” Android tablets
- Eco-friendly leather
- Multipurpose use for in and out of the cockpit
- Anti-slip pads for comfort and stability
- Microfiber interior for screen protection
- Some reports of the leg strap breaking
This can also be purchased from DESIGN 4 PILOTS.
We have included this additional review as, although it lacks a number of the features of the other models, we love the simplicity of this design.
On the first impression, the MyClipKneeboard may encourage a response of “What? Where’s the rest of it?”.
This ‘kneeboard’ is actually an adjustable strap that can be used to attach all kinds of personal electronic devices to the wearer's leg.
The hooks fit securely over the device screen and grip tightly to stop it from coming loose or snapping.
This strap can attach to any device between 3” and 12” inches, meaning that almost all tablets on the market today would fit.
There are some such as the iPad Pro which have screens larger than 12”, though these are certainly in the minority for now.
This flexibility is unrivaled with other kneeboards, as users would usually need separate kneeboards for using different sized tablets. With this model, it's one size fits all.
- Simple and sleek design
- Compatible with huge range of personal electronic devices
- Cheaper end of the market range
- No additional storage space
This can also be purchased from Sporty’s.
Best Pilot Kneeboard Buying Guide
Pilot Kneeboard Styles
The standard style of kneeboard typically consists of a clipboard or writing surface area that is attached to a wearable fabric sleeve.
This is worn around the thigh of the user, who can then ensure it fits securely by using the Velcro strap.
Varying models of kneeboard may also have additional straps and pockets for extra storage of utensils, maps, and notes.
This standard-style kneeboard is ideal for those pilots who only use paper charts and maps and who likely don't require additional digital connectivity when flying their planes.
Electronics Compatible Kneeboard
Technological innovation is at the forefront of all industry changes, though there aren't many more so than the aviation industry.
Researchers and mechanics are always looking at how they can refine, streamline and improve the planes' performance as well as give the pilots even more options than ever.
As the technology used becomes ever more interconnected, many manufacturers have sought to improve the connectivity of the pilots themselves.
There is now a wide range of pilot kneeboards available that are compatible with tablets and cell phones. These allow the pilot to be greater connected and place all kinds of online information at their fingertips.
Pilot Kneeboard Features
Clipboard & Notepad
The primary function of the kneeboard for a pilot is the use of a clipboard.
This can be used to hold important information or as a space for notes to be made. Typically, these are designed to hold A5 size paper, which is half the size of the printing standard A4 size.
Most designs will include a built-in pen holder to aid quick and easy note-taking. Sometimes these will be fixed to the frame of the clipboard, and on others, these may be attached by Velcro.
Kneeboards that contain pockets for additional storage are most handy indeed. They allow for the storing of writing utensils such as a pen or pencil, maps, charts, or micro flight computers.
Pilots using electronically compatible kneeboards may also store the relevant charging wires or tablet stylus in these pockets.
The Velcro strap is designed to attach the kneeboard comfortably and securely to the pilot's leg.
These straps are adjustable to account for the different-sized legs out there, though it doesn't guarantee a snug fit for everyone.
Typically though, most models will feature an adjustable strap with a reasonably wide range of sizes, ensuring you can find one that fits you just right.
Some models also come with adjustable straps that can be attached to objects such as car seats or gym equipment.
Whilst this may not help in the cockpit, it allows for an even wider range of use from the kneeboard.