JetBlue is giving all of its pilots M1 iPad Pro models

Posted:
in iPad
JetBlue has announced that it is giving new M1-equipped iPad Pro models to its pilots as part of an effort to future-proof the technology used in its aircraft cockpits.

Credit: Nick Morales/Unsplash
Credit: Nick Morales/Unsplash


According to the airline, the new M1 iPad Pro models will keep JetBlue pilots "on the cutting edge of technology" and will provide safety-critical capabilities to all crew members on an aircraft. The new iPad Pro models are a good fit for the cockpit, JetBlue said, because of their thin and light design, bright Liquid Retina display, and 5G compatibility.

The leading Apple Silicon chip -- the M1 -- is also critical for pilots who need performance when running more than a dozen apps during a flight.

"iPad has become an essential tool on board - from loading operational tracking apps, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals," the company wrote in a press release.

The airline will give new incoming pilots an M1 iPad Pro in the coming months and replace in-use tablets in the coming months.

JetBlue first started using iPad devices in its cockpits back in 2013 after receiving Federal Aviation Administration approval. While pilots have continued to use the Apple tablet, other JetBlue employees have also adopted it.

Apple first announced the new iPad Pro models back in April, and they became available for purchase on May 21. Benchmark testing has confirmed that the M1 chip allows the new iPad Pros up to 50% faster performance.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,304member
    Oy gevalt, would the haters here refuse to board a flight if they knew the pilots were using iPads? 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,252member
    Seems a bit overkill.
    muthuk_vanalingammknelsonelijahg
  • Reply 3 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,661member
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so?  If anyone requires the fastest tech, it would be commercial airline pilots.  Last thing I would want as a passenger is seeing a pilot get stressed because their tablet getting hung up due to a hungry FAA app.

    I'd be worried if they were using an Android tablet for sure.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,252member
    sflocal said:
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so? 
    Because as is well documented, the hardware of the M1 iPads are very under utilised by even the most demanding iOS apps software.  I doubt any apps that pilots need to use for "operational tracking, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals" would show any marked difference to an iPad Air, and at an additional $250 for every pilot on the payroll it seems like a questionable decision for future proofing, when regular upgrades of more modest equipment may serve them better.

    Of course I have a basic at best understanding of these will be used for, so in all probability I'm totally wrong.  But to me, it seems a bit overkill.
    muthuk_vanalingamprismaticselijahg
  • Reply 5 of 10
    KTRKTR Posts: 121member
    Question is.  What software are they using to manage the devices?  Jamf of something else.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,513moderator
    crowley said:
    sflocal said:
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so? 
    Because as is well documented, the hardware of the M1 iPads are very under utilised by even the most demanding iOS apps software.  I doubt any apps that pilots need to use for "operational tracking, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals" would show any marked difference to an iPad Air, and at an additional $250 for every pilot on the payroll it seems like a questionable decision for future proofing, when regular upgrades of more modest equipment may serve them better.

    Of course I have a basic at best understanding of these will be used for, so in all probability I'm totally wrong.  But to me, it seems a bit overkill.
    They also have to play Call of Duty Mobile during the flight while the plane is on autopilot.

    JetBlue have under 4,000 pilots so <$1m investment isn't much for a company making a few billion in revenue each year. The salary of the pilot is over $150k, $250 is a rounding error relative to that.

    It's always better overkill than underkill. 5G, more RAM, better display, will all be benefits that outweigh the small cost of upgrades and they have to keep upgrading hardware to keep them within warranty service.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 790member
    crowley said:
    Because as is well documented, the hardware of the M1 iPads are very under utilised by even the most demanding iOS apps software.  I doubt any apps that pilots need to use for "operational tracking, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals" would show any marked difference to an iPad Air, and at an additional $250 for every pilot on the payroll it seems like a questionable decision for future proofing, when regular upgrades of more modest equipment may serve them better.

    Of course I have a basic at best understanding of these will be used for, so in all probability I'm totally wrong.  But to me, it seems a bit overkill.
    Indeed!

    The iPad is replacing the heavy papers in their flight bags: various charts for general navigation and airport approaches, checklists (often built into the aircraft software now), GPS functionality (small aircraft), flight plans, logbooks, weather reports.

    Apps to aid with navigation, weight and balance calculations. I see mention of maintenance software.

    None of that would strain a 10.2" iPad processor, but the brighter iPad Pro display would be nice in a bright cockpit. Airborne 5G is also a thing (mentioned in the article).

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,220member
    sflocal said:
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so?  If anyone requires the fastest tech, it would be commercial airline pilots.  Last thing I would want as a passenger is seeing a pilot get stressed because their tablet getting hung up due to a hungry FAA app.

    I'd be worried if they were using an Android tablet for sure.
    Have you seen the UIs on most commercial passenger jet's avionics? Presumably not, since if you did you'd realise that even the iPad 2 would outpace most of them. Remember most of the plane's avionics are 15+ years old due to long certification times, old planes etc.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,220member
    Marvin said:
    crowley said:
    sflocal said:
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so? 
    Because as is well documented, the hardware of the M1 iPads are very under utilised by even the most demanding iOS apps software.  I doubt any apps that pilots need to use for "operational tracking, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals" would show any marked difference to an iPad Air, and at an additional $250 for every pilot on the payroll it seems like a questionable decision for future proofing, when regular upgrades of more modest equipment may serve them better.

    Of course I have a basic at best understanding of these will be used for, so in all probability I'm totally wrong.  But to me, it seems a bit overkill.
    They also have to play Call of Duty Mobile during the flight while the plane is on autopilot.

    JetBlue have under 4,000 pilots so <$1m investment isn't much for a company making a few billion in revenue each year. The salary of the pilot is over $150k, $250 is a rounding error relative to that.

    It's always better overkill than underkill. 5G, more RAM, better display, will all be benefits that outweigh the small cost of upgrades and they have to keep upgrading hardware to keep them within warranty service.
    5G at 30,000 feet is entirely pointless when most planes have WiFi. Good luck connecting to a 5G basestation 5 miles below at 500mph.
    edited July 13
  • Reply 10 of 10
    prismaticsprismatics Posts: 160member
    crowley said:
    sflocal said:
    crowley said:
    Seems a bit overkill.
    How so? 
    Because as is well documented, the hardware of the M1 iPads are very under utilised by even the most demanding iOS apps software.  I doubt any apps that pilots need to use for "operational tracking, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals" would show any marked difference to an iPad Air, and at an additional $250 for every pilot on the payroll it seems like a questionable decision for future proofing, when regular upgrades of more modest equipment may serve them better.

    Of course I have a basic at best understanding of these will be used for, so in all probability I'm totally wrong.  But to me, it seems a bit overkill.

    To me it seems like an advertisement; Not like a necessity. Otherwise we would not read about this in AI or anywhere else.
    But I would agree that iPad software is usually so underpowered, it does not need any meaningful amount of processing power usually. Maybe a Video decoder, the RAM may be needed for  the shitty frameworks todays apps are bloated with, and a single CPU core for the thread that renders the user interface.
    watto_cobra
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