Tuesday, August 23, 2011

iPad Captures the Paperless Flight Deck

Interesting news out of United Airlines (UAL) today. United announced that they will utilize 11,000 iPads  to convert to paperless flight decks for United and Continental pilots. This is huge news considering that HP (HPQ) just folded from the tablet market last week. With a market that is clearly opening up, Apple (AAPL) has garnered a major foot hold into the business sector.

Now these 11K pilots and support personnel at UAL will likely be drawn into buying iPhones and iMacs for the home. Continues to lead to a major shift towards AAPL hardware and farther away from HPQ, Dell (DELL), and Research in Motion (RIMM).

These electronic flight bags (EFB) replace paper flight manuals providing pilots with paperless aeronautical navigational charts through an iPad app. The estimates of paper and fuel savings are amazing. 16 million less sheets of paper per year even saving 326,000 gallons of jet fuel a year.

Not only will it improve efficiency, but it will reduce the risk of injury from hauling around flight bags that contain on average 12,000 sheets of paper. That is an astonishing amount of paper. The iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and replaces 38 pounds of paper. Wow!

Interesting developments considering the newness of AAPL into the business world. This appears to only be the beginning considering HPQ left the market last week and choosing a Google (GOOG) platform is most likely less appealing. The field seems to be wide open to AAPL.

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