AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Is a Variometer and How Do I Choose the Right One?

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional, all pilots must be able to steadily rely on their devices for safe flights. The better equipped a pilot is with strong tools, he will be able to fly longer, make better informed judgements, and climb and descend with more ease. In addition to an altimeter, a barometer, and a GPS, a pilot should have a reliable variometer. A variometer shows climb and descent rates at its most basic, but there are a few types of variometers available for purchase. For your better understanding, this blog will cover what these devices do and how to choose the right one for your applications.

One may purchase a vario-only tool, that of which strictly pinpoints climbs and sinks on any aircraft. For some less advanced applications, such as paragliding, users will be nowhere near airspace and will not require state-of-the-art technology within their varios. These most basic variometers do not offer altitude readings, navigation abilities, or even display readings in some designs that are strictly audible. These variometers function strictly to make a noise as to alert a change in elevation. Despite their limited abilities, the basic variometer is extremely practical, lightweight, and affordable for users looking to monitor their gliding.

More complex variometer models include alti-variometers and alti-vario GPS combinations. The former provides all the information you would typically get from a variometer plus altitude details. These devices may be able to sense pressure and calculate altitude pressures. Furthermore, they may be able to offer readings on barometric pressure, weather changes, temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit, lift, altitude and sink data. Others include sensibility for effective thermalling with loud vario sound, QNE, QFE, QNH altimeter references, and timekeeping functions. Meanwhile, an alti-vario GPS combination boasts all of the capabilities of an alti-vario with the additional ability to aid in navigation. These combination devices are a great way to determine where you are at all times during the flight. Some devices even know your ground speed for a smooth take-off, but with any GPS device, it is important to remember they are prone to failure near cloudy skies.

When purchasing your variometer, it is wise to consider price, functions, durability, ease-of-use, and audio controls. As the various combination devices aforementioned offer additional benefits with added costs, assessing your exact needs is helpful when deciding if you need the more complex features that some variometers offer. Additionally, any device should be easy to operate during flight and not demand too much attention. Many pilots find it helpful to try the interface of any variometer to make sure they will be able to operate the device quickly and easily when needed. Some may even allow you to adjust the audio settings so as to prevent distractions.

All of this considered, sourcing the right variometer for your aircraft can be a demanding process, but Fulfillment Domain is here to make procuring top quality NSN products simple and efficient. When you are in the market for reliable part types with rapid lead times and cost savings, browse our ever-expanding database as organized on our website. To receive an Instant Quote for any part, simmply submit an RFQ form with as much detail as possible regarding your purchase, such as shipping deadlines and desired quantities. Within 15 minutes, our team of experts will contact you with a custom quotation for your comparisons. To learn more about our products and services, call or email us at any time.


Recent Twitter Posts

Semiconductor's Certifications and Memberships
The only independent
distributor with a
  • All orders are fulfilled in the USA.
  • All shipments must comply with U.S.A export laws.
  • No exceptions.
fallen heroes fund logo

“We Proudly Support Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund that serves United States Military Personal experiencing the Invisible Wounds of War : Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Please visit website ( and help in their valiant effort”.

Thank You for Visiting.

We Hope that You Will Visit Us Again the Next Time You Need NSN Parts and Make Us Your Strategic Purchasing Partner.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.