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JetBlue chooses Apple's iPad for its flight decks

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Pilots who fly for JetBlue are being trained to use Apple's iPad in the cockpit for weather, flight planning, and airport charts, the company announced on Wednesday.

JetBlue


On the airline's official blog, JetBlue announced that its pilots will become familiar with three "core" iPad apps that will aid them in flying. The switch will allow pilots to see real-time updates in-flight, giving them the ability to adjust course and provide a smoother flight for passengers.

Pilots will also have access to satellite Wi-Fi enabled by LiveTV, which JetBlue says will be the fastest connection available in the air.

"The iPads will replace laptops and a whole mound of paper manuals and charts," the carrier said. "Less paper means less weight on the plane, and less fuel burned."

The announcement comes just days after rival carrier American Airlines announced it has completed its plan to deploy more than 8,000 iPads across its fleet. The iPad is now in use by pilots as an electronic flight bag in all of American Airlines' fleet.

The iPad is of particular appeal to airlines because its portability allows carriers to replace bulky paper charts. Because of those papers, pilot kitbags can weigh as much as 40 pounds.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration first granted approval to the iPad for use as an electronic flight bag in 2011. JetBlue said additional applications for instrument approach and taxiway charts could see FAA approval in the future.
post #2 of 23
IPad 2.... Others 0.... Can't imagine them using anything other than iOS. It's not a huge market but big enough and another sector of influence. Hundreds of 1000's of pilots around that wiill eventually all have iPads
post #3 of 23
Funny to think about the millions of dollars of electronics on these aircraft and they are bringing in iPads for sometimes Mission Critical Applications
post #4 of 23
But Android is so open, customizable. /s
post #5 of 23

The apps these guys are using are Android only.  Oops.

 

I don't think these airlines are going to risk people's lives on an Android product. 

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by abarry View Post

But Android is so open, customizable. /s

Android has widgets. It's all about widgets.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Android has widgets. It's all about widgets.

LOL

post #8 of 23

OMG.   Apple is being regulated to the cockpit.  Its becoming a business device, not a mass consumer product.  Apple is doomed.  This must account for another 1% drop in the stock today  /s

 

I hope Peter O is out in force busying stock as part of the buyback program.   For long term shareholders, a lower price now will have a big positive impact down the road.   Hang in there and take comfort that the decline actually has benefits 

Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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Windows survivor - after a long, epic and painful struggle. Very long AAPL

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post #9 of 23
Oh, noes! Another airline depending upon a toy to keep passengers safe in the air. Microsoft would be appalled to hear this. Oh, well. It will have good ammunition to fight with when the first American Airlines or Jet Blue jet goes down with all lives on board. Microsoft has forewarned these companies with a guarantee if they had used Surface tablets, no airplane would ever crash. I know for certain that the media will find fault with Apple if there is a mishap with any commercial passenger airliner who has chosen the iPad as their navigation device. Mark my words. Apple will be held directly at fault by the news media even if an engine falls off.

Apple bulls can add this future case to Apple's overall loss of company value. Why did Steve have to die and leave Apple as a company without a future. Although as perverse as it may seem, I also think this decline will have benefit by the end of the year for me as I load up on more Apple shares.
post #10 of 23
This is great news. If this keeps up iOS will become the new Windows-by-default for business with hand-held computing.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #11 of 23
The Find My Plane app will save those pilots some embarrassing delays, I'm sure.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomTB View Post

IPad 2.... Others 0.... Can't imagine them using anything other than iOS. It's not a huge market but big enough and another sector of influence. Hundreds of 1000's of pilots around that wiill eventually all have iPads
 
Pilots, including at JetBlue, have been using laptops and tablets since the 1990s.  (JetBlue converted all their airline documents to electronic form long ago.)
 
This is just the latest move to save money and weight per device, and to enhance the experience as tech advances.  I think it's great.  The more info, the better.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration first granted approval to the iPad for use as an electronic flight bag in 2011

 

To be clear, note that the FAA does not approve devices.  No model of the iPad is "approved" on its own.

 

The FAA authorizes each device's use in a particular setup done by each airline, involving mounting, testing, coming up with methods and procedures, checklists, and training.  Then it's tried out for months in real life, and after all that, gets an interim authorization... followed by fleet training... followed by final FAA approval.

post #13 of 23
I agree that the iPad is the obvious choice for this task, but at the same time I'd be curious to see the criteria the airlines use when selecting which tablet to use. Is it simply that the iPad is the only device that's completed FAA approval (I don't recall specific announcements that other tablets were approved)? Or were there other "contenders"?

I know all the arguments we here would come up with to explain the choice, but having the actual criteria used by the AF, JetBlue, and AA, and seeing how they scored each alternative tablet, would be interesting.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I agree that the iPad is the obvious choice for this task, but at the same time I'd be curious to see the criteria the airlines use when selecting which tablet to use. Is it simply that the iPad is the only device that's completed FAA approval (I don't recall specific announcements that other tablets were approved)? Or were there other "contenders"?

 

As I just noted above, the FAA doesn't give blanket approval to such devices.   Each is authorized in its own situation, which is why each airline proudly announces when they themselves have made it through the process.

 

Frankly, choosing the iPad these days is kind of like when we used to say that "Nobody gets fired for choosing IBM".   It's the safe choice, not only because even non-tech CEOs have heard of it, but for actual good reasons:

 

In general, you want to choose a device that will be available for a while to come.  Now, the iPad doesn't quite fit that concept, since it changes slightly every year.  Still, it's easier to test a related model when the time comes to replace the old ones.

 

Also, the price needs to be right.  Support tech needs to be available.  And it doesn't hurt that the iPad has excellent battery time.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

As I just noted above, the FAA doesn't give blanket approval to such devices.   Each is authorized in its own situation, which is why each airline proudly announces when they themselves have made it through the process.

 

Frankly, choosing the iPad these days is kind of like when we used to say that "Nobody gets fired for choosing IBM".  It's the safe choice, for good reason:

 

In general, you want to choose a device that will be available for a while to come.  Now, the iPad doesn't quite fit that concept, since it changes slightly every year.  Still, it's easier to test a related model when the time comes to replace the old ones.

 

Also, the price needs to be right.  Support tech needs to be available.  And it doesn't hurt that the iPad has excellent battery time.

 

Yup. But I'd be curious to see what criteria, if any, the airlines used or was it just "the pilots say they want iPads"? I've had discussions (aka, arguments) with people upset the AF wasted money buying iPads when they could have gotten cheaper tablets. These people wonder why pilots get iPads but nobody else in the AF does for their jobs. Clearly a case of iPad envy, but also because some would believe the pilots are farily elitist and spoiled (not an entirely unjustified opinion). Nobody disputes that tablets on aircraft can save money. But whey not get cheaper tablets so the extra money could be use to buy tablets for other AF career fields (who are often using office eqiupment that's embarassingly old).

So knowing the specific criteria that two commercial airlines used to select iPads vs other options would be useful if those kinds of conversations came up again.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Yup. But I'd be curious to see what criteria, if any, the airlines used or was it just "the pilots say they want iPads"? 

 

Nope, probably not the pilots.

 

It would've started with a manager looking for ways to save money, presenting the idea to bosses, and getting approval to start the project.  (This of course would've been easier after another airline already did it and claimed all sorts of savings - grin)

 

After that, an RFP (Request For Proposal) would be put out, from which the airline would choose the top responses.

 

As for the criteria, I gave the most common ones from experience.  Also, there might be some influence from the software team as to what they wanted to program on.  But yep, you're right that we don't know exactly what all the airline desires were in this case.

 

OTOH, we do know some of the major criteria for why American Airlines chose to buy 17,000 Galaxy Notes for their flight attendants.  Info here and here.  It might give some more clues as to how the airlines think.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

The Find My Plane app will save those pilots some embarrassing delays, I'm sure.

Thanks, that made the thread worth reading!

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Nope, probably not the pilots.

 

It would've started with a manager looking for ways to save money, presenting the idea to bosses, and getting approval to start the project.  (This of course would've been easier after another airline already did it and claimed all sorts of savings - grin)

 

After that, an RFP (Request For Proposal) would be put out, from which the airline would choose the top responses.

 

As for the criteria, I gave the most common ones from experience.  Also, there might be some influence from the software team as to what they wanted to program on.  But yep, you're right that we don't know exactly what all the airline desires were in this case.

 

OTOH, we do know some of the major criteria for why American Airlines chose to buy 17,000 Galaxy Notes for their flight attendants.  Info here and here.  It might give some more clues as to how the airlines think.

 

Thanks for the links. I must have missed that news. Looks like size was one of, if not the primary consideration. Their trial was before the iPad mini was released, but even the mini might have been too big for what they needed for this specific purpose. But if nothing else, this provides an example as a counter-argument to the claim that the iPad (for pilots) was blindly selected just because it's popular.
post #19 of 23

Aha.  I just ran across a post in another forum, where a pilot was talking about his airline getting iPads approved.

 

He said it took over a year, and that they ran into problems with placement because it was interfering with the compass on one side.  

 

He said they also had to get RF shielded mounts because they were getting headphone buzz at times.


Edited by KDarling - 6/26/13 at 2:27pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I agree that the iPad is the obvious choice for this task, but at the same time I'd be curious to see the criteria the airlines use when selecting which tablet to use. Is it simply that the iPad is the only device that's completed FAA approval (I don't recall specific announcements that other tablets were approved)? Or were there other "contenders"?

As I just noted above, the FAA doesn't give blanket approval to such devices.   Each is authorized in its own situation, which is why each airline proudly announces when they themselves have made it through the process.

Frankly, choosing the iPad these days is kind of like when we used to say that "Nobody gets fired for choosing IBM".   It's the safe choice, not only because even non-tech CEOs have heard of it, but for actual good reasons:


In general, you want to choose a device that will be available for a while to come.  Now, the iPad doesn't quite fit that concept, since it changes slightly every year.  Still, it's easier to test a related model when the time comes to replace the old ones.


Also, the price needs to be right.  Support tech needs to be available.  And it doesn't hurt that the iPad has excellent battery time.

It is also the only tablet with enterprise management an software deployment. Samsung at least has the security piece now, but no tools.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

It is also the only tablet with enterprise management an software deployment. Samsung at least has the security piece now, but no tools.

 

Right, MDM is part of the support I was thinking of.  Thank you for noting it specifically.

 

There are third party tools available, such as Good, which is popular with enterprises for managing Android tablets.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Right, MDM is part of the support I was thinking of.  Thank you for noting it specifically.

There are third party tools available, such as Good, which is popular with enterprises for managing Android tablets.

GOOD is also very popular on iOS, and they constantly announce that their overwhelming majority of device activations occur on iOS. GOOD offers very good security in that all business data is stored in a separate encrypted "container" that cannot be accessed by other parts of the OS, but is one of the more pricey MDM solutions.
post #23 of 23

soon every passenger will get an ipad for his flight :)

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