iPads Replace Airplane Manuals

It’s not just passengers who are reading eBooks on planes these days. Thanks to the new a company called Jeppesen, pilots can now do their on-board navigation using iPads.

United Continental Holdings has purchased 11,000 iPads to replace flight manuals on United and Continental planes. The iPads are loaded with Jeppesen’s Mobile FliteDeck technology, an app featuring interactive navigation information and worldwide geo-referenced terminal charts.

Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, stated: “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.”

The 1.5 pound iPad weighs a lot less than the 38 pound manual, and Jeppesen calculates that this will save 16 million sheets of paper and 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year. (This is great, but don’t forget that iPads themselves taken carbon emissions to produce and distribute). U.S. and Delta and American are also testing the technology and Alaska Airlines has already adopted iPads.

Let’s just hope the pilots remember to charge their iPads and don’t install Angry Birds on these devices.