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Apple's iPad helps budget airline cut 2 tons of TVs

post #1 of 42
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Budget airline Scoot Pte's switch to using Apple's iPad for its in-flight entertainment helped the company cut two tons of televisions and other related equipment from its airplanes.

The airline, a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, removed the entertainment equipment while outfitting planes it had received from its parent company, according to a Bloomberg report. Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson told the publication that his company had managed to cut 7 percent of the planes' weight, while simultaneously increasing seating by 40 percent.

Instead of television service, Scoot Pte will offer customers iPads pre-loaded with "movies, music, games and television shows," the report noted. Business-class fliers will borrow the iPads for free, while economy passengers will have to pay S$22 ($17) to rent the devices. The airline also has plans to install a wireless system for providing content to customers on its planes.

The iPads will be used in the airline's four Boeing 777s. According to the report, the company plans to expand to a fleet of 14 777s within the next few years.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. transportation research analyst Corrine Png called the switch to iPads a "smart move" because lightening the plane will "help improve fuel efficiency."

Competing airline Qantas claims to be the first to have launched iPad-based in-flight entertainment. The airline announced plans for a streaming iPad service last fall and began testing it in December.



Apple is enjoying steady adoption of its iPad across the aviation industry. After receiving FAA approval last year, several airlines have begun adopting the tablet for use as an electronic flight bag.

Government agencies have also recognized the benefits of Apple's touchscreen tablet for pilots, mechanics and other workers. Earlier this year, The U.S. Air Force awarded a $9.36 million contract to a technology sourcing company for up to 18,000 iPads. The devices will be used as electronic flight bags aboard the branch's cargo aircraft. In April, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration revealed plans to "broadly expand" the use of the iPad among its workers.
post #2 of 42
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post #3 of 42

I’m not sure they were using the best TVs for an airplane installation.

 

64365lj_27.jpeg

post #4 of 42

While I think this is a smart move, I question the 7% figure given in the article. Given that the empty operating weight of a 777-200 series is around 150 tons, cutting 2 tons would mean a reduction of 1.3% in weight, not 7%. I suspect that there were other weight saving measures taken (in addition to the switch to using iPads) to achieve a 7% overall reduction in weight, however this is not clear from the article.

post #5 of 42

I doubt it was 7% off the plane's weight. That's way too much. These things don't have a lot of fat. My guess is 7% from the weight controlled by the airline, meaning seats, entertainment, food carts, etc. Somebody else can do the math, but that sounds plausible, though still surprising, to me.
 

post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

I doubt it was 7% off the plane's weight. That's way too much. These things don't have a lot of fat. My guess is 7% from the weight controlled by the airline, meaning seats, entertainment, food carts, etc. Somebody else can do the math, but that sounds plausible, though still surprising, to me.
 

 

You're very likely correct, however 2 tons is a lot of weight to lose. Go iPads!!!

post #7 of 42

WOW!
 

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post #8 of 42

I cannot believe that one iPad is lighter than one of those tub-based TV produced 20 years ago!!! ;))

Go iPad, revolutionize the 20 years ago technology so bloggers can blog about such an innovative product and keep the news paper's front page busy with! ;)) 

(And can be rented for ONLY 22 sings, now that is something! Well, I'll bring mine then, no thank you renting it!)

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post #9 of 42

The numbers simply don't work. 4000 pounds?!? The seat-back screens weigh, at most, 2x an iPad (remember that they don't need to include batteries) and even if you tally up all the cabling and centralized A/V equipment, I just don't see the equivalent of four fully-populated equipment racks hiding somewhere in a plane just to provide entertainment.

 

(Maybe if they include a bank of Wurlitzer jukeboxes full of vinyl providing the audio...)

post #10 of 42

I love how Apple has revolutionized the the portable digital computing device.  Really have to give Steve and the guys credit for going where the hockey puck was gonna be.  I really hope that Apple can keep developing and revolutionizing the industry.  Who knows what is in store for the next 5 years?

 

On another note.  How do they prevent iPads from becoming lost on the flight.  People trying to steal them.  I didn't read in the article on how security measures were gonna prevent attempted thefts as the iPad doesn't have a security port for being tethered.  Also how is that name pronounced?  Pte's means Pete's?

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post #11 of 42

Yeah man, those Airline TVs are always the crappiest, even (especially) flat screens.

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

I cannot believe that one iPad is lighter than one of those tub-based TV produced 20 years ago!!! ;))

Go iPad, revolutionize the 20 years ago technology so bloggers can blog about such an innovative product and keep the news paper's front page busy with! ;)) 

(And can be rented for ONLY 22 sings, now that is something! Well, I'll bring mine then, no thank you renting it!)

 

TUB-based indeed. Like a big honking tub of junk.

 

Next up, iPad to replace... (already happening)...

 

DSC03045.JPG

 

And, well, words defy me.

 

TiTON_IRONMAN_Final_05.jpg


Edited by nvidia2008 - 6/4/12 at 1:51am
post #13 of 42
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Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

It's a toy
It will flop
It is not a PC
People don't want tablets
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The iPad is a huge part of my life it feels as if I always had an iPad.

 

The most amazing thing is that a 2012 iPad is way, way better than anything similar on Star Trek (original, nextgen, DS9)*

 

*Let's ignore the other "spinoffs"

post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIA View Post

While I think this is a smart move, I question the 7% figure given in the article. Given that the empty operating weight of a 777-200 series is around 150 tons, cutting 2 tons would mean a reduction of 1.3% in weight, not 7%. I suspect that there were other weight saving measures taken (in addition to the switch to using iPads) to achieve a 7% overall reduction in weight, however this is not clear from the article.

I read it as the iPads were 7% of the weight of the previous entertainment system.

The part I question is how they were able to increase seating by 40%. Seems impossible to me.

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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I read it as the iPads were 7% of the weight of the previous entertainment system.
Another poorly written article perhaps? I read the article and frankly it doesn't make sense. I can see the Airline saving some weight especially if the original video system was really old. However 7% of the planes weight is a different story.
Quote:
The part I question is how they were able to increase seating by 40%. Seems impossible to me.

Have you not opened a can of Sardines?. I jest not, as a rather tall person I've literally given up on flying unless I can afford first class. Considering that I use to love flying, especially to new destinations, this is a rather sad development. The TSA and whatever else is going on in the airports don't help the situation. In the end being packed into a plane with several hundred others just doesn't have the positive appeal.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Another poorly written article perhaps? I read the article and frankly it doesn't make sense. I can see the Airline saving some weight especially if the original video system was really old. However 7% of the planes weight is a different story.
Looking at the original article it looks like their was a 7% total decrease in weigh of which the switch to iPad and removal of the previous system played a part in that total weight loss.
Quote:
Have you not opened a can of Sardines?. I jest not, as a rather tall person I've literally given up on flying unless I can afford first class. Considering that I use to love flying, especially to new destinations, this is a rather sad development. The TSA and whatever else is going on in the airports don't help the situation. In the end being packed into a plane with several hundred others just doesn't have the positive appeal.
I've been taking Amtrak when feasible. The cost is less than fuel for my car, I get large seats even in the unreserved section that rivals any first/business class airline, there are power outlets at nearly every seat, and often free WiFi, but one of the best things is that I can arrive 5 minutes before it leaves and still have 5 minutes to spare.

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post #17 of 42
So they are reducing fuel costs, and then charging the passengers more to rent the iPad? So just a money making scheme
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

It's a toy
It will flop
It is not a PC
People don't want tablets
Did I miss anything? 1biggrin.gif
The iPad is a huge part of my life it feels as if I always had an iPad.

 

"The iPad is a huge part of my life it feels as if I always had an iPad."

 

This says so much in a a very few words...

 

We are mischaracterizing this as the "post-pc era" -- rather we should refer to the past as the "pre-iPad era".

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post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I read it as the iPads were 7% of the weight of the previous entertainment system.
The part I question is how they were able to increase seating by 40%. Seems impossible to me.

 

To paraphrase Bob Newhart as "The Grace L. Ferguson Airline and Storm door  Company" pilot over intercom on a flight to Hawaii:

 

"I want to apologize for your having to stand all the way.  I can give you a little tip there -- every half hour or so, you'll want to alternate your arms through those straps above you head.   You folks flying tourist, you don't have any straps..."


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 6/4/12 at 5:44am
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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I've been taking Amtrak when feasible. The cost is less than fuel for my car, I get large seats even in the unreserved section that rivals any first/business class airline, there are power outlets at nearly every seat, and often free WiFi, but one of the best things is that I can arrive 5 minutes before it leaves and still have 5 minutes to spare.

Other than the poor cellular service (everyone on the Amtrak with an iPad is using the same cell signal sent to the train) , I was able to get away with using the iPad for the duration of an entire trip where I would have needed a laptop. So I think there's no further need for a laptop, at least as far as travel is concerned (I have to wonder what people used to do before computers... did they pack a suitcase full of paper on business trips?)

 

The iPad replaces pretty much every device I would want that I had to take an entire backpack for. Laptop, Video camera*, picture camera*, entertainment (eg nintendo ds), and even the cell phone. I still take the cell phone since pay phones are nearly extinct. Though I suppose it's possible to just use Skype on the iPad.

 

*The fact that the iPad can do HD video AND take 5Mpixel pictures basically removes the need to take both of these, but the iPad can't do dark indoor shots, nor can it zoom, but for most situations this isn't a big deal. 

 

I'm actually surprised that prosumer camcorders and lowend dslr/high-end consumer picture cameras haven't merged, they only differ by the ability to plug in a microphone.

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I read it as the iPads were 7% of the weight of the previous entertainment system.
The part I question is how they were able to increase seating by 40%. Seems impossible to me.

 

Yes, the 40% increase in seating capacity also looked suspicious to me. But it's actually plausible - have a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#Specifications

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I’m not sure they were using the best TVs for an airplane installation.

They might have been old ones. They did say it was a budget airline, they might have been whatever was on the plane when they were bought on the used market. Being that they're certified for in-seat installation, they might have a lot of extra structure just to install them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

The numbers simply don't work. 4000 pounds?!? The seat-back screens weigh, at most, 2x an iPad (remember that they don't need to include batteries) and even if you tally up all the cabling and centralized A/V equipment, I just don't see the equivalent of four fully-populated equipment racks hiding somewhere in a plane just to provide entertainment.

(Maybe if they include a bank of Wurlitzer jukeboxes full of vinyl providing the audio...)

What about the weight of the wiring?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

On another note.  How do they prevent iPads from becoming lost on the flight.  People trying to steal them.  I didn't read in the article on how security measures were gonna prevent attempted thefts as the iPad doesn't have a security port for being tethered.

Maybe they require a credit card. They probably would also collect them all before opening the doors.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

Also how is that name pronounced?  Pte's means Pete's?

'Pte' means 'private' as in 'privately held.' Thats the acronym used in Singapore.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maybe they require a credit card. They probably would also collect them all before opening the doors.

Yes. You have turn off all electronics in the last twenty minutes of the flight. They likely collect them like they do with headphones.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIA View Post

Yes, the 40% increase in seating capacity also looked suspicious to me. But it's actually plausible - have a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#Specifications

Wouldn't getting rid of first/business class seats add quite a few economy seats?

Edit: Just noticed that they still have business class seats.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

It's a toy
It will flop
It is not a PC
People don't want tablets

Did I miss anything? 1biggrin.gif


The iPad is a huge part of my life it feels as if I always had an iPad.

 

My iPad has completely failed to replace my MacBook Pro in my life. For me it's a waste of money. I think the place that iPads shine is not for personal use, but for professional use like the one described here. It's particularly interesting in collaborative settings, like displaying medical imaging or architecture, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Next up, iPad to replace... (already happening)...

 

DSC03045.JPG

 

This is a thing of beauty.

post #27 of 42
So those in eco class that could enjoy the tv have now to pay an additionnal cost? I must be misunderstanding.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

So they are reducing fuel costs, and then charging the passengers more to rent the iPad? So just a money making scheme

I suppose airlines are supposed to be charities? Of course it's a money making scheme.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

So those in eco class that could enjoy the tv have now to pay an additionnal cost? I must be misunderstanding.

Have you not been following air travel for the past decade or so? They're charging for all sorts of things that used to be free. Just a few examples:
- Checked bags
- Snacks in Coach
- Heck, some airlines are charging more for more comfortable seats, etc.
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post #29 of 42

Total weight removed from all aircraft in the fleet....not one aircraft

Great idea......

post #30 of 42
Here is a seat map of Singapore's configuration:
http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Singapore_Air/Singapore_Air_Boeing_777-300ER.php

Notably, business drops down from ~20 rows of 8 wide beds to ~4 rows presumably with seats.

Economy goes from 3-3-3 with a 32" pitch to 3-4-3 with a 31" pitch.

Seating is still within the original exiting certification.
post #31 of 42

The % of weight lost must be based on the options you can install, not the full weight of the aircraft. 

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

The numbers simply don't work. 4000 pounds?!? The seat-back screens weigh, at most, 2x an iPad (remember that they don't need to include batteries) and even if you tally up all the cabling and centralized A/V equipment, I just don't see the equivalent of four fully-populated equipment racks hiding somewhere in a plane just to provide entertainment.

 

(Maybe if they include a bank of Wurlitzer jukeboxes full of vinyl providing the audio...)

I agree.   Also, how does removing whatever entertainment system you currently have give you 40% more passenger room?     A typical Boeing 777 holds 300 passengers.    Now it holds 420 because they're using iPads?   That makes no sense.      Besides, if they added another 120 passengers at 150 pounds each, that's adding another 9 tons, so they're definitely not saving any fuel.   

 

It's nice that they're using iPads and I hope it does provide some environmental or cost-savings benefits, but the numbers quoted are ridiculous.  

post #33 of 42

strange.... i thought ipad's are actually quite heavy. hundreds of them compared to 5 flatscreen TV's...? how can that be lighter?
 

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post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks View Post
strange.... i thought ipad's are actually quite heavy. hundreds of them compared to 5 flatscreen TV's...? how can that be lighter?

 

Because it's not 5 flatscreen TVs… It's hundreds of 1990s touchscreen panels built into the back of each seat.

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post #35 of 42
Quote:
So they are reducing fuel costs, and then charging the passengers more to rent the iPad? So just a money making scheme

 

It is a business. That's their responsibility. You are not entitled to every cent saved. The shareholders are. 

post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jukes View Post

 

My iPad has completely failed to replace my MacBook Pro in my life. For me it's a waste of money. I think the place that iPads shine is not for personal use, but for professional use like the one described here. It's particularly interesting in collaborative settings, like displaying medical imaging or architecture, etc.

 

 

 

 

An iPad was not meant to replace a MacBook Pro - what makes you think it ever would?    The only possible exception is for people who only consume content, rather than create it.    The iPad is great as an e-book reader, browsing the web, Facebook, Tweeting, simple photography processing, watching videos, email if you only write back short responses, playing simple games, etc.    It's not for people who are writing novels, creating complex spreadsheets, working on multiple applications at once, doing page-layout or programming, etc., etc.      It was never intended to be.    It was intended to be a very portable adjunct to your machine at home in the case where the iPhone wasn't enough because of power and/or screen size.     Everyone I know who has the iPad loves it.   But they love it for what it was intended to be and that was not a computer replacement except in a few cases. 

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
The only possible exception is for people who only consume content, rather than create it.

 

And even that's not true, so… 

 

Quote:
It's not for people who are writing novels, creating complex spreadsheets, working on multiple applications at once, doing page-layout or programming, etc., etc.      It was never intended to be.

 

Which explains the apps that let you do just this, of course.

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post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
Besides, if they added another 120 passengers at 150 pounds each, that's adding another 9 tons, so they're definitely not saving any fuel. 

I think the 'weight' being talked about refers to the non-revenue-producing kind.

post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

 

TUB-based indeed. Like a big honking tub of junk.

 

Next up, iPad to replace... (already happening)...

 

DSC03045.JPG

 

And, well, words defy me.

 

TiTON_IRONMAN_Final_05.jpg

(cathode ray) tube. Happy now?! :)

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post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I've been taking Amtrak when feasible. The cost is less than fuel for my car, I get large seats even in the unreserved section that rivals any first/business class airline, there are power outlets at nearly every seat, and often free WiFi, but one of the best things is that I can arrive 5 minutes before it leaves and still have 5 minutes to spare.

When he head up North to visit family it breaks down like this. Car-14 hrs. Plane 3 hrs flight, 4 hrs delay, 2 hrs minimum to deal with the Tsa goons and cost about 4x the cost of car travel. Amtrak is almost 3 days To go 900 miles. So you can probably guess which one we use.

On the plus side the minivan now has an iPad based intertainment system, iPad-Tomtom based navigation system, and inflight Internet provided by iPhone tethering. Funnily enough the 3 iPads weigh about a quarter of what the old DVD system did.
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