Airborne iPads

By lex, on February 15th, 2011

Apple’s iPad solution has gotten some new traction for airborne applications:

Jeppesen announced on Friday that Executive Jet Management has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts.

The authorization allows Executive Jet Management to use iPad and the Jeppesen Mobile TC App as the sole reference for electronic charts, even during taxi, takeoff and landing. Executive Jet Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of NetJets Inc., is a leading provider of worldwide jet charter and aircraft management services.

This announcement is a result of a three-month extensive in-flight evaluation managed by Executive Jet Management and Jeppesen with regular engagement of the FAA (including local and national Electronic Flight Bag authorization authorities).

The cross-industry collaboration sets an important precedent for the aviation community. Lessons learned, processes established, and templates developed during this project may benefit other companies seeking to deploy EFB solutions on iPad.

Would it also surprise you to learn that a little bird has told me that certain naval aviators are flying with iPads in combat operations over the rough wilds of Afghanistan? Hornets and Huey’s, I’m told. With the latter leading the way and the former getting religion. All very informally of course, based upon the fact that the devices have not gone through the rigorous testing required to ensure they won’t melt down at 35,000 feet, nor put somebody’s eye out in an ejection. Apparently the iPad’s moving map is much beloved, as is the ability to compare potential target areas with preloaded imagery.

Of course, the rigorous testing designed to ensure that the devices are truly capable of doing what they’re already doing will cost a fair amount of money, and take a fair amount of time, even if Navy circumvents a number of acquisition hoops. Meanwhile, the aviators are finding newer and better ways to take the fight to the enemy. In the best traditions of the service.

Our information technology acquisition processes really need a little lean six sigma.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Lex

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