Technology in the Skies

In August, United Airlines announced that they would be deploying 11,000 iPads to pilots to be used for paperless navigation charts.  You can read the press release here.

In the article, among other claims, United Airlines claims that the use of iPads will increase the level of safety on flights.

Do you believe that iPads in the cockpit will increase safety for pilots and passengers?  Do you agree with the safety claim or any other claim regarding the introduction of iPads?  Do you think it’s a good idea?

Have you heard of iPads being used in any other interesting or innovative ways or in  industries or settings that you might not have thought an iPad would be helpful?


7 responses to “Technology in the Skies”

  1. kaileenkraemer says :

    The article convinced me that iPads were safer to use than paper. I have never been in a cockpit before, but I imagine that using an iPad instead of countless sheets of paper would be much less overwhelming. However, they better have that paper on hand just in case technology fails (it always does at some point, and when you least expect it!) or, of course, this alternative would not be safe at all. When it comes to flying planes, increasing the level of safety is infinitely more important than saving the environment by using less paper, but it’s good that this alternative will help that issue, too.

  2. burnscp says :

    In regards to other interesting implementations of iPad’s, there was a girl who plays for Purdue’s basketball team in a class I took last spring. She told us that when the locker rooms were renovated for them, they each had an iPad put in their locker. However they weren’t allowed to take it out of their locker. It was just a way to look up information about classes or homework or what was going on in the world but for no other purpose. I thought that was a ridiculous waste of money, as did she, seeing as all those players already have laptops of their own anyways. All we hear about is how Purdue is trying to save money and needs to cut back, but then basketball players have iPads in all their lockers that they aren’t allowed to use outside the locker room? Nice move Cordova.

  3. Rebecca Ivic says :

    I am not sure. I think using an iPad in the cockpit sounds like a more effective alternative, so long as there is a backup in case it fails. Perhaps ‘if’ isn’t the question– ‘when’ it will, because there is no perfect technology.

    I think the iPad is getting to a point where it can be used for innovative purposes, like what you described, but I also think the specs have a long way to go before they’re more frequently used.

  4. brad5627 says :

    I definitely think iPads would be great in the cockpit. We fumble around with thin paper to view approaches, they can be dropped, torn, etc… So, the iPad would make it quicker to access an approach, a clearer picture, it’s a larger format than the approach plates we use, we don’t have to sift through a book to find the assigned approach, and we don’t have to carry around 50 pounds of charts for the US.
    Sure, they can fail, but if both pilots have an iPad assigned to them and the aircraft also has one assigned to it, that’s triple redundancy for the system, which should be plenty to prevent full failure… And they would also be way easier to keep up-to-date than the current method of distributing the paper copies.

  5. Cody Maus says :

    In regards to ways ipads are being used in new ways. I know a lot of companies are using ipads or even iphones to take care of inventory. For instance the libraries are currently looking into implementing ipads to take inventory of computers and peripherals. I have also heard of retail stores taking care of inventory using an iphones wireless technology. It is really interesting to see people how people are finding ways to use this technology in new and interesting ways.

  6. Shelby Foster says :

    Another great new product to look at along these lines is the new Garmin Aera 796. The iPad’s are great, but they aren’t specifically designed for this use, and still have some issues. Garmin’s new product is a similarly sized product, but it’s completely designed for the cockpit, and has many more sources of info, plus Garmin is known for their GPS systems, as most GPS systems that are built into aircraft are made by Garmin. I really like the idea of the airlines going paperless, as any pilot knows how dealing with charts and sectionals in a cramped cockpit can be a pain. Here’s a link to a review I read about this new handheld:,0

  7. kingkyle35 says :

    I read an interesting article that talked about how iPads are being used in restaurants as menus. They are placed in/on the table and eliminate all human error in customizing your meal. With specialized programs to run on the tablet, restaurants can cut down on cost by having waitresses only for the delivery of the food. I think this would eliminate alot of jobs in the job market, but at the same time, would be a very effective way to speed up eating in a restaurant.

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