iPad takes to the air
Delta Airlines has joined Alaska Airlines in testing iPads as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) although, the Delta test is a bit broader that the Alaska trial in that it is looking at all the aspects of how Delta communicates with its Pilots. Still the main aplication is to replace the 15 kilos of paper manuals and charts pilots lug around with them on every flight.
Delta senior vice-president-flight operations Steve Dickson told FlightGlobal that 22 iPads have been deployed and are being tested by about 50 pilots.
“We’re loading Jeppesen Mobile TC charting software, a GoodReader document viewer that contains all of our manuals in an electronic format, and the Journey browser, which allows access to iCrew. A Delta Meteorology app provides access to pilot-tailored graphical weather information and real-time looped Delta radar. Each pilot will have access to their Delta e-mail account and calendar,” said Dickson.
“The tablets have also been loaded with a writing app for notes, an Atomic web browser, a PDF viewer, a Wi-Fi finder app, and crew rest and cruise rest period calculators. Both Wi-Fi and 3G are available domestically.”
Testing is currently taking place on Delta’s domestic fleet which has been equipped with Gogo’s air-to-ground (ATG)-based in-flight Wi-Fi solution and the evaluation pilots are authorized to use the tablets for operational purposes (no games 🙂 ) pre-flight and above 10,000ft..the same limitations that apply to passengers using electronic devices.
Dickson says so far they have only scratched the surface of potential uses for pilot uses of Tablets.
“We are going to pursue real-time security advisories, reroute information and electronic auto sign-in when [pilots] are in range of the airport or a specific gate. A tablet device sets the foundation for a paperless cockpit of course with flight plan and charter packet uploads, theatre guides and trans-oceanic step by step information, simplified NOTAMs, e-Checklists, and instant reporting access just to name a few opportunities. Essentially, we have only begun to identify the limitless possibilities, and there is no question that we see this as a potential to change the way we do business both immediately and long-term,” added Dickson.
Delta expects to complete the iPad tests by mid-September at which time it will roll out 16 Motorola Xooms to test the Android platform.
From: Flight Global