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Commercial airlines look to Apple's iPad for paperless cockpits - Page 3

post #81 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon View Post

I actually did a lot of the data work on EFBs for commercial flight. Just throwing out a few more details for those interested. I believe this stuff to be common knowledge.

EFBs can be rated for use without paper charts, they have been certified in large commercial aircraft including the 777. Look up 777 images at Airliners.net and look to the right or left of the center console, you will either see a blank panel, or a glass screen. If it is a glass screen, it is a Class 3 EFB. This means it is installed in the instrument bay, draws power from the main bus etc. They may have wi-fi capabilities.

Class 2 EFBs can draw power from the aircraft I believe, but need to be put away under 10,000ft. That is usually a mounted laptop. Same for Class 1 which probably would be iPad and other non-mounted laptop/tablet solution.

EFBs do not control primary flight and are subject to less stringent rules, however they do carry significant certification.

Notams etc. are PDF, but the charts themselves are proprietary images. While the update process is non-trivial (even by computer), taking out the human error for each manual, it is ultimately safer for the industry.

Interestingly, the iPad is not recommended over 10,000 ft, even though it is obviously not because of problems with disk drives, which can fail due to thinner air, but probably due to overheating (which Apple must have tested). Not too much of a problem for general aviation types, because most final approach segments are flown below 10,000 ft. I assume the FAA has tested ipads to NOT cause electronic interference, otherwise they would not have certified their use in common carrier aircraft, which operate under more stringent rules.

I've never seen any interference from any type of electronic display in my small airplane, but understand why the FAA is slow to adopt any type of device to be used concurrently during the takeoff and landing phases, where airspace is more crowded, and interference more critical.
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejtttje View Post

So if these get certified to use in the cockpit during flight, does that mean we'll be able to use them in coach during take-off and landing? That would be nice. Maybe a first step for finally dropping those outdated electronics interference rules.

It's not just about electrical interference. It's about not having any distractions or loose objects flying around during the most critical parts of a flight, in case of an emergency landing etc. You're not allowed to have your tray tables down or bags on your lap then either, nothing to do with electrical interference!
post #83 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Interestingly, the iPad is not recommended over 10,000 ft, even though it is obviously not because of problems with disk drives, which can fail due to thinner air, but probably due to overheating (which Apple must have tested). Not too much of a problem for general aviation types, because most final approach segments are flown below 10,000 ft. I assume the FAA has tested ipads to NOT cause electronic interference, otherwise they would not have certified their use in common carrier aircraft, which operate under more stringent rules.

I've never seen any interference from any type of electronic display in my small airplane, but understand why the FAA is slow to adopt any type of device to be used concurrently during the takeoff and landing phases, where airspace is more crowded, and interference more critical.

Of course the flight attendants make sure they go to Preferences and set them on "Airplane Mode."
post #84 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonblue737 View Post

Countless times a passengers sticks there head in the cockpit and marvels, "I bet it just flies itself!" I just smile and say "pretty much" but think, "LOOK AROUND!" http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviatio.../9/1190987.jpg

You should have posted a picture of the the -300 flightdeck. It looks much more complicated.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/South...229e39ca501787
That flightdeck does not appear to be able to do anything itself.
post #85 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by E Jet View Post

You should have posted a picture of the the -300 flightdeck. It looks much more complicated.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/South...229e39ca501787
That flightdeck does not appear to be able to do anything itself.

Here's a good one of the 777 with Class 3 EFB right and left.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Japan...58a977a45fd819
post #86 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by E Jet View Post

You should have posted a picture of the the -300 flightdeck. It looks much more complicated.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/South...229e39ca501787
That flightdeck does not appear to be able to do anything itself.

True, and I might just work for an airline that has me hopping between those two on a daily basis.
post #87 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy737 View Post

This system will be INCREDIBLE when the ipad goes retina.

The airline i work for (presently the world's largest following a recent merger) has been "closely studying" the "Electronic Flight Bag" idea for over ten years. Trouble is, our shatty management loves to trip over dollars to pick up dimes and will probably continue to do nothing.

Meanwhile, countless pilots suffer torn rotator cuff injuries every year from lugging around heavy flight bags and throwing them in and out of our cockpits. Someone needs to quantify what this is costing the company in disability---because they certainly aren't concerned about making a change for the pilots' sake.

hmm... so we work for the same boss!...

Are you getting to keep the name or the logo?? (I'm keeping the logo.)
(unless your screen-name is really old, I'm guessing your keeping the same logo too.)
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockTheGlobe View Post

If pilots can use iPads in the cockpit, does this mean passengers will finally be able to use them during takeoff & landing?

No !

Of course, you could complete a safety analysis for every aircraft that you want to fly on, then the answer would be yes.
post #89 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy737 View Post

This system will be INCREDIBLE when the ipad goes retina.

Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy737 View Post

Meanwhile, countless pilots suffer torn rotator cuff injuries every year from lugging around heavy flight bags and throwing them in and out of our cockpits. Someone needs to quantify what this is costing the company in disability---because they certainly aren't concerned about making a change for the pilots' sake.

Come now. It's not that bad. And that's what you have wheeled carry-on for. I'm skeptical about the iPad (or any tablet) in the cockpit, without it actually having functionality like an EFB.....particularly the nice ones nowadays which dock in. Sure the other ones cost more and weigh more. But they also do more and are far more robust. Last thing you want is your iPad conking off on final while you're scrambling to find your chart for the missed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

As for us general aviation pilots, my friends and I (lots of certified flight instructors also) now use the ipad for teaching and flight planning. I am now going to buy the ipad2 (my first ipad), so that I can take advantage of the EFB capability. The very excellent Foreflight app will have all the necessary charts, and will finally show your plane on the chart and taxi diagrams, at much cheaper prices than Jeppesen.

The problem I have with this stuff, is that it's not FAA approved. You should not be manoeuvering on the ground referring to your iPad. That's a flight safety incident waiting to happen. I always worry that people tend to forget about the certification and it just becomes the new normal....until something happens. Using an iPad as a moving map display on the ground...handy but risky. But as a giant PDF reader to read approach plates....definitely useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

From what I've been told, an external GPS antenna (placed in the glareshield, and bluetooth tethered to the ipad) makes precision tracking available on the ipad, but, then again, you have panel-mounted avionics for this primary function, so it is not really necessary to have precision output on the ipad map, and the ipad is used as "situational awareness data" which is allowed by the FAA for any device that doesn't interfere with any other primary instruments, and which is properly mounted in the aircraft (most folks strap it to their leg, or place it next to them on the console or copilot seat).

That method of GPS Nav is definitely not approved (unless you're doing it in VFR). Not just that, but there's no way a GPS receiver that's mounted on the dash, communicating via bluetooth, is anywhere as accurate as your externally mounted GPS receiver that's integrated into your avionics. They have already had airspace incursions by people doing exactly this...nav by iPad. Sure, the FAA allows it for situational awareness. Is it a good idea? Colour me skeptical. If you don't know where you are in VFR without a GPS, you're a terrible pilot. And if you don't know where you are in IFR without looking at your iPad, you're probably going to get somebody killed someday. So in reality, what's the use of this as an SA tool? If you're VFR, just look at the damn ground. If you're IFR, you had better know where you are without the damn GPS (unless you're a military pilot flying GPS/INS low level Nav or something like that....and even they can do it the old fashioned way).

There's a lot of utility to getting rid of paper in the cockpit....and as a PDF reader the iPad (or most other tablets) is amazing. But I sincerely worry about safety when people start relying on a dash mounted GPS and an iPad for SA.
post #90 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balmer's Right Nut View Post

So, first we get frisked and groped and now we have to ask if they're using old fashioned paper, Android or an iPad?

I' not getting on the plane if they're using an Android Craplet.

1) You won't ever know what the pilots are using.
2) Get over it. It's just a giant PDF reader. Nothing more. A $100 Archos could do the job.
post #91 of 91
I really enjoy it when a trendy new device comes out on the market, and it suddenly revolutionizes the aviation industry. I've seen the "paperless cockpit" revolution so many times over the past decade and a half, I registered the trademark! Seriously, I own the Paperless Cockpit (R) trademark.

I've seen the Psion handheld revolutionize aviation, followed by the Palm Pilot, the Pocket PC, the Fujitsu Pen Tablet, the Tablet PC, the Fujitsu Pen Tablet (again), the netbook, the iPhone, and now the iPad. Android still hasn't managed to be revolutionary in aviation.

Since the mid nineties, a few dozen aviation and technology professionals have been working together to figure out how we can use consumer electronic devices in the airplane. It only took a few hours to figure out all of the cool things that pilots could do with a portable computer, but it took another decade to navigate the regulatory challenges.

Getting the FAA to change they're ways without spilling blood can be a bit of a challenge, so we found ourselves working with the existing regulations and system to come up with a way pilots could use these devices safely and legally. As it turns out, every pilot (or every operator - for those who get aviation code) has his/her own specific set of regulations, requirements, policies, and cultures to follow, so there isn't a one-size fits all regulation or policy. Instead, their are a handful of policies, interpretations of policies, best practices, and tricks that each operator has to use to be legal.

If you fly a small airplane for fun, your don't have much of a hurdle: go buy your iPad, load up ForeFlight, and fly. On the other side of the spectrum, if you fly for an airline, it may take years to navigate the morass of regulation, policy and politics just to use a pocket calculator. An iPad with approach charts, realtime weather, GPS, MELs, SOPs, MMELs, tie ins to FOQA, ACARS, etc., etc. - let's just say it's challenging.

But the benefits are worth it. From reducing "heads down" time, to improving taxi-way situational awareness, to reduced weight and fuel savings, to reduced duty times (no more revisions!), to the warm fuzzies we get from saving trees, making the effort to approve these devices is worth it.

So, while I think the iPad may not be revolutionary, it is certainly evolutionary, and a step in the right direction. Even if it is an over-hyped fad, it has proven itself extremely versatile and well-suited to aviation applications.

If you really want to dive into the technical and regulatory details surrounding Electronic Flight Bags, take a look at PaperlessCockpit.com.

And if you see my wife, remind her I want an iPad 2 for my birthday next week.
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