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Sun, Aug 21, 2011

Delta Experimenting With iPads In Cockpits

Real-Time Communication With Pilots As Important As E-Charts

Delta Airlines has started testing the Apple iPad for use as an electronic flight bag, providing 22 of the devices to its pilots for experimenting during flights. Don't be alarmed - Delta pilots will NOT be using WingX to make instrument approaches in 757-200s. The company wants to see if the iPads allow it to keep in better contact with pilots in real time.

Delta Operations VP Steve Dickson tells FlightGlobal, "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.

"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."

Dickson says at least a quarter of the pilots involved in the test rate themselves "tech unsavvy." If the results look encouraging, the suite of applications will be migrated to the Android platform running on Motorola's Xoom, and possibly to other devices.

FMI: www.delta.com

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