Over the last few years, more and more commercial and general aviation pilots are adopting the electronic flight bag concept.
On my flight back from Perth on Friday I noticed that Qantas provides its A330 pilots with Panasonic ToughBook CF-19
tablets in this role. Apparently the ToughBook CF-19 is commonly deployed on modern Airbus aircraft like the A380 and A330.
A key benefit of the Electronic Flight Bag is the possibility of eliminating paper (and weight) from the aircraft. In some cases, manuals can account for more than 20kg. With a tablet pc you could increase the documents you carry but reduce the weight.
Key criteria in selecting EFB / Tablet PC Hardware:
- Outdoor viewable
- Wide viewing angles
Why? If you have to move the tablet to see the screen, it is not an effective paper replacement.
- Long battery life
- Fast charging
- Hot swap batteries -12/19/24v Power
Why? Long battery life is not enough. Power management and flexibility will allow you to run much longer than the longest battery life (consider operations longer than just flight endurance).
- Gorilla Glass
- Drop tested
- Water resistant
Why? A Tablet in the cockpit will be stowed and retrieved frequently. Vibrations, bumps and knocks will all be part at the environment. Your EFB can’t be too precious.
A final consideration would be mounting options, This of course may be subject to further certification.
More interesting discussion on EFB:
Tablets to consider for EFB Role: