Delta was the first U.S. airline to deploy the iPad, with 22 devices replacing weighty flight bags for a number of its pilots. Now United Airlines is also taking Apple’s device to the skies, but with a slightly larger roll-out that will see 11,000 of the tablets handed out to all United and Continental pilots.
Just like those used by Delta, United Airlines’ iPads will replace 40-pound flight bags, that typically include paper flight manuals, logbooks and aeronautical charts, with Apple’s 1.5-pound tablet. Pilots began receiving the devices earlier this month, with the roll-out expected to reach all pilots by the end of the year.
Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, said this is the next generation of flying:
“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying. The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”
Here’s how the iPads will be used by United:
Each iPad, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, will replace approximately 38 pounds of paper operating manuals, navigation charts, reference handbooks, flight checklists, logbooks and weather information in a pilot’s flight bag. A conventional flight bag full of paper materials contains an average of 12,000 sheets of paper per pilot. The green benefits of moving to EFBs are two-fold—it significantly reduces paper use and printing, and, in turn, reduces fuel consumption. The airline projects EFBs will save nearly 16 million sheets of paper a year which is equivalent to more than 1,900 trees not cut down. Saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3,208 metric tons.
Just like those employed by Delta, I’m sure United’s devices will be restricted to use during pre-flight, and when the plane is above 10,000 feet. Will you feel safer in the hands of an iPad on your next United Airlines flight?
[via The Loop]