Print 9 comment(s) - last by Azethoth.. on Jun 26 at 7:36 PM

Thankfully, the pilot won't be playing Angry Birds, or so we hope...  (Source: JetBlue)
JetBlue pilots will use iPads for three key activities

We reported on Monday that iPads are now in use in every single American Airlines cockpit. The airline deployed 8,000 iPads that will save 400,000 gallons of fuel and $1.2 million in fuel costs each year.
Not to be left out, JetBlue announced today on their blog that its pilots would also be using iPads in the cockpit. However, JetBlue assures passengers that, "[The pilots] won’t be playing Angry Birds in the cockpit, but the cool technology they’ll be able to see before and during a flight will help them be even better pilots."
The iPads will replace both paper manuals and heavy laptops and as with American Airlines, greater fuel savings will be achieved by using the lighter tablets.
According to the BlueTales blog, pilots will use the iPads to scan real-time weather updates, pre-flight planning, and to peruse digital airport and aircraft charts.

Source: JetBlue

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Better idea
By invidious on 6/26/2013 1:20:27 PM , Rating: 1
If they really want to save weight they should hire skinnier pilots.

Seriously though, they should give pilots a raise based on how much gross weight they can lose. 50 lb less pilot means 50 lb more cargo capacity or X amount less fuel.

RE: Better idea
By corduroygt on 6/26/2013 1:22:35 PM , Rating: 1
The money they save will be nothing compared to the legal costs they'd incur due to discrimination lawsuits.

RE: Better idea
By Gondor on 6/26/2013 2:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
Discrimination lawsuit, what a wonderful idea - I'm vision impaired (10% eyesight remaining), cannot get driver's license because of that, they sure as hell wouldn't let me fly an airplane ... so I should just sue them for discrimination against vision-impaired people.

Get real, a job can have certain prerequisites and "weight under certain limit" would be just as legitimate one as "20/20 eyesight". Not everybody is fit for everything.

RE: Better idea
By corduroygt on 6/26/2013 3:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
While demonstrating why a blind person can't be a pilot is easy, you'd have to be able to demonstrate why a pilot must be under a certain weight, and to save on fuel costs is not a valid reason, certainly would not hold up in court.

Also, you can have a pretty athletic person that's still quite heavy, look at NBA players.

RE: Better idea
By Solandri on 6/26/2013 5:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, strictly on an economic level, a 747 burns 3.1 liters per 100 km per passenger. If you figure the average pilot flies 75 hours/mo, and a plane flies at an average speed of 500 mph (including takeoff/landing), you get:

(75 hrs/mo)*(12 mo/yr)*(500 mph)*(1.61 km/mi) = 724,500 km/yr
= 450,000 miles/yr

A plane burns about 1 lb of fuel per 10 lbs of extra weight carried 1000 miles.

So putting it all together, over a year of work a pilot who weighs 10 pounds more will require (10 lbs weight)*(450000 miles/yr)*(1 lb fuel) / (10 lbs weight)*(1000 miles) = 450 lbs of fuel.

Aviation fuel is 6.79 lbs/gallon, so this is about 66 extra gallons consumed during a year of flying. Aviation fuel is about $6/gal right now, so a pilot who weighs 10 pounds more costs the airline $400 more per year in fuel costs.

So unless the pilot is grossly overweight (say, 50+ lbs) it doesn't make that much difference to the bottom line.

RE: Better idea
By Schadenfroh on 6/26/2013 3:55:03 PM , Rating: 1
How about charging passengers based on their weight and the weight of their luggage?

How on earth does this save money??
By mickmuck on 6/26/2013 5:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
So they save $1.2 mill in fuel costs... but it costs over $4 mill to buy 8,000 iPads. It would take more than 3 yrs to just match those costs... but of course in 3 years, they need to update all those iPads because they're outdated and old tech. Therefore, they will spend another +$4 mill to buy more silly iPads and help make Apple richer

By Azethoth on 6/26/2013 7:36:07 PM , Rating: 3
Ok so you did not read the linked article. Let me quote:

"Each 1.35-pound iPad replaces over 35 pounds of paper documents and reference manuals that pilots carry in their kitbag. The iPads also allow for quick and efficient updating of manuals in minutes without wasting paper"

The fuel savings you mention are from not having those 35 pounds on board. Next you need to calculate the printing and paper costs + labor to add / replace updated sections of the manuals. Also include the risks of this not being done correctly and leading to a crash.

Next you need to think into the future. Can you imagine ways of improving on plain manuals when you are now iPad based and can create flight apps?

Why would they need to replace the iPads after 3 years just because there are newer ones? That is a silly premise.

Some simple iPad savings
By Azethoth on 6/26/2013 7:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
By using an app to do various calculations based on passengers + cargo weight vs altitude, speed and expected conditions, you can instantly eliminate various crash scenarios that featured bad calculations.

For instance, "we have 150 soldiers on board weighing 200 pounds each including their luggage, therefore we can take off safely". Er no, you in fact crashed killing everyone because mild icing + the huge underestimate pushed you over the limit. An app could actually have some sanity checks built in or use statistics etc to get realistic weights. One can even imagine it getting realtime updates for the local or flight path weather factors.

iPad good, pilot with pencil and paper bad.

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