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Delta joins airlines investigating iPad for cockpit use

updated 12:00 pm EST, Mon March 7, 2011

First major carrier to join

While Delta Air Lines is "still vastly paper driven" when it comes to navigational charts, the company is seeking approval to test the iPad and other tablets beginning next quarter, according to spokeswoman Gina Laughlin. The Federal Aviation Administration only recently approved the use of the iPad instead of paper charts or electronic flight bags (EFBs). Although EFBs may offer some of the advantages of tablets, they can weigh as much as 18 pounds versus the iPad 1's 1.5 or the iPad 2's 1.3.

Delta may be poised to become the first major airline to adopt tablets for its pilots. The only authorized airline to date is Executive Jet, and the only other one testing the iPad is Alaska Airlines, which has 116 planes. Delta, by contrast, is the second-largest carrier in the world.

The Executive Jet iPads have so far been equipped with an app called Jeppesen Mobile TC. A concern with such tablets is the potential of either an app or an OS to crash, but the combination of Jeppesen and iOS is said to have gone without failure during testing. If a crash does occur, it's reportedly possible to resume a previous state within 4 to 6 seconds.


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By Electronista Staff
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  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +2

    And a 2nd iPad as Backup (Surely!)

    It's hard to justify a need for a backup of a printed map, but surely the rules will state that they have 2 identical iPads available on every flight. No one, not even Apple, makes hardware/software reliable enough for flight without some sort of backup system.

  1. bluejammm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +1

    Cost

    Each EFB also costs thousands to an iPad's hundreds.

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