Singapore Airlines goes all-in on iPads for pilot flight books

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in iPad
Singapore Airlines is reportedly thoroughly embedding the iPad in its cockpits, and only planning to intensify efforts in the future.

Image Credit: Aloysius Low/CNET
Image Credit: Aloysius Low/CNET


Going beyond flight charts and weather forecasts, the company has for years been loading pilots' iPads with two custom-built apps, FlyNow and Roster, according to CNET. The former provides data on things like weather, routes, and fuel. Roster offers a glance at flight hours, upcoming flights, and expiration dates for licenses, passports, and visas.

The second app is said to be particularly significant, since pilots previously had to track hours and visa dates on their own. Without a visa pilots can't fly to the U.S., which can potentially force the company to hunt for last-minute substitutes.




Since the iPads use Touch ID, pilots can also forego two-factor authentication dongles.

Many airlines have to turned to iPads or other tablets in order to eliminate bulky flight bags full of charts and other paperwork. In some cases they've even used iPads to replace in-flight entertainment systems, or counted on passengers to use their on smartphones and tablets. Ditching flight bags and/or conventional entertainment systems can lower the weight of a plane, cutting down on the high cost of aviation fuel.

Singapore Airlines is actually a relative latecomer in the industry, having kickstarted its iPad program in 2015. The first major U.S. airline to make the switch was Alaska Airlines back in 2011.

The former is currently working on upgrading older cockpits with USB ports to charge iPads. It's also hoping to add secure, in-flight internet connections for pilots, which would allow tablets to get live updates rather than depend on data loaded before takeoff.
gilly33watto_cobra

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    In order to account for weight on the plane, they should charge customers based on the height/weight ratio of their own bodies, after a certain reasonable threshold. Do you think that would be too discriminatory? The Western population, at least, has gotten heavier.

    Now, on the topic of iPads, it sounds like pilots are assigned their own iPads, which they carry from one flight to the next, instead of the iPads being assigned to specific planes.

    Also, I'm curious about the gradient blue background on those apps. Do they do usability testing to find out if an all-black background would be better for the eyes?

    edited November 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    I wonder what iPad Singapore Airline pilots are using? Most pilots I hear prefer the iPad mini. But it hasn’t been updated yet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    d_2d_2 Posts: 49member
    Now, on the topic of iPads, it sounds like pilots are assigned their own iPads, which they carry from one flight to the next, instead of the iPads being assigned to specific planes.

    The article fails to mention that the industry term is Electronic Flight Bag, or EFB’s.

    To answer the question above - assigning iPads to each pilot is the usual distribution method. The FAA has different rules for pilot-carried vs permanently installed EFBs, which was the industry’s Initial attempt at digitizing flight deck paperwork.


    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    In order to account for weight on the plane, they should charge customers based on the height/weight ratio of their own bodies, after a certain reasonable threshold. Do you think that would be too discriminatory? The Western population, at least, has gotten heavier.

    Now, on the topic of iPads, it sounds like pilots are assigned their own iPads, which they carry from one flight to the next, instead of the iPads being assigned to specific planes.

    Also, I'm curious about the gradient blue background on those apps. Do they do usability testing to find out if an all-black background would be better for the eyes?

    If weight on plane needs to be accurate than charge based on just weight, none of this height to weight ratio nonsense. Also the Western (US) world keeps pointing out their greater affluence as the reason why migrants want to migrate there and the justification for current immigration policy. Since they are so affluent they can afford to pay more to move their fat asses.

    The blue background is because it’s one of their corporate colors.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    longfang said:
    In order to account for weight on the plane, they should charge customers based on the height/weight ratio of their own bodies, after a certain reasonable threshold. Do you think that would be too discriminatory? The Western population, at least, has gotten heavier.

    Now, on the topic of iPads, it sounds like pilots are assigned their own iPads, which they carry from one flight to the next, instead of the iPads being assigned to specific planes.

    Also, I'm curious about the gradient blue background on those apps. Do they do usability testing to find out if an all-black background would be better for the eyes?

    If weight on plane needs to be accurate than charge based on just weight, none of this height to weight ratio nonsense. Also the Western (US) world keeps pointing out their greater affluence as the reason why migrants want to migrate there and the justification for current immigration policy. Since they are so affluent they can afford to pay more to move their fat asses.

    The blue background is because it’s one of their corporate colors.
    In that case, a flat weight requirement would make sense. Each customer has a total weight allowance of let's say, 120kg (body weight plus luggage plus carry ons). So a 60kg person can bring in 60kg of stuff while a 100kg (220 pounds) person can only bring in 20kg of stuff. A 300 pound person gets charged extra even if they come in naked with no bags.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    I wonder what iPad Singapore Airline pilots are using? Most pilots I hear prefer the iPad mini. But it hasn’t been updated yet.
    previous iPad Pro.
    The mini is preferred in small airplanes, where space in the cockpit is restricted... in airliners, the full size iPads are no problem. (and when viewing charts, bigger is always better :) )

    (No... airlines don't do testing to determine stuff like background colors... in fact, the apps we are given don't even follow Apple's "standard" iPad/iOS interface controls.)
    watto_cobra
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