United Airlines Deploying 11,000 iPads to Pilots as Electronic Flight Bags

Over the past several months, we've made several mentions of commercial airlines testing the iPad as a replacement for flight bags used by pilots. The testing programs have been looking to replace bulky and heavy flight bags full of navigational charts and other materials with iPads in order to reduce the weight of pilots' bags and save fuel on flights.

united pilots ipad
United Airlines today announced that it has gone a step further, committing to a full transition to using iPads as electronic flight bags and rolling out 11,000 iPads to United and Continental pilots.

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.

The iPads are equipped Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, which is a free download from the App Store but requires a paid subscription to Jeppesen's services.

The report notes that the iPads will streamline pilots' work by eliminating the need for thumbing through sheafs of paper or waiting for pages to print. The iPads will reduce clutter on cramped flight decks and offer quick and easy access to required data at all times.

Top Rated Comments

tinkafoo Avatar
130 months ago
Gives a whole new meaning to Airplane Mode.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GQB Avatar
130 months ago
Dumb idea. When the iPad runs out of battery and/or dies the pilots won't be able to navigate the SIDS/STARS when on departure or arrival.

Um, you do realize that cockpits have electricity generated by the ENORMOUS TURBINES strapped to their backs, right?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CChrisG Avatar
130 months ago
Let's see when the first plane crashes cuz the pilot was playing Angry Birds
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mulyahnto Avatar
130 months ago
You are flying in a mechanical and electronic piece of machinery with thousands of moving parts and hundreds of electronic systems, and people are worried about batteries running out on an iPad? :rolleyes:
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
130 months ago
But remember, iPads are just for consuming content, not for real work!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notabadname Avatar
130 months ago
I call ********. iPads aren't saving on fuel by cutting weight.

Complete ********.

Not only that, but everyone knows that you always have to have a hard copy of whatever you are trying to use for an electronic device. So the maps are there on the plane weather an iPad is or not.

You've got no clue about what your talking about. The pilots replace their personal flight kits at about 40lbs each with iPads. The aircraft will still have a "backup" set of minimum pubs onboard that has always been on board, stored in the cockpit, regardless of what form of manuals the pilot carries. It is (at least at Delta) sealed in plastic to ensure its contents aren't used and misplaced. It is the so called "backup". The iPads replace the two pilot bags that you see pilots drag through airports, hanging on the back of their roll-aboard. At Delta, we stopped carrying those about a year ago, and the company provides the pilot materials at each cockpit seat in paper form, still 40 lbs each, so they reduced the waste of having 12,500 pilots carry these pubs. So at Delta, there are about 1,500 of these now, one for each of two seats across a fleet of 750 aircraft. But the weight of 80 lbs per aircraft (the pilot's company provided pubs at each seat) will be replaced with iPads.

If you recall your physics, you can not lift 80 lbs of weight to 40,000 feet without expending energy (fuel). How much energy would it take if you devised a canon that could shoot 80 lbs to that altitude and across the country? To say it costs nothing to carry these pubs as compared to carrying two iPads is true ignorance. At Delta, they have numbers for how much it costs to carry an extra can of Coke on a flight, and savings gained through lighter service trays and glassware. We fly nearly 100,000 flights per year, it all adds up very quickly. Stick to what you know. The airline industry and how it operates is clearly not on that "list".
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...