Surface Pro 3 gets FAA nod to replace a pilot's flight bag

Surface Pro 3 gets FAA nod to replace a pilot's flight bag
Pilots in the U.S. and in Europe now are officially allowed to replace their bulky, unwieldy flight bags, with a Surface Pro 3 tablet. While Delta pilots are using the Surface 2 to replace their bags, the Surface Pro 3 approval includes thumbs up for special software and hardware that accompany the newer tablet. The approval for U.S. pilots came from the FAA, while European fly boys received thumbs up from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The approval covers a special mount that will allow the Surface Pro 3 to connect with the plane's computer system, allowing the slate to offer real-time data such as weather, wind and turbulence. When through for the day, the pilot doesn't have to leave his Surface Pro 3 in the cockpit. He can remove it from the mount and take it home to play Flight Simulator or other games.

Airlines have actually been able to save money by replacing the heavy papers and charts used by pilots, with other tablets. Back in 2011, UAL replaced the charts and paperwork carried by its pilots with an Apple iPad 2. This lowered the weight on an average flight by 38 pounds. Over the course of a year, this reportedly saves United Airlines 326,000 gallons of fuel and keeps alive 1900 trees.

Today's announcement also includes new software for pilots from industry leader Jeppesen. The FliteDeck Pro application is made for Windows 8.1 and allows pilots to save valuable time by running their charts side-by-side with real time weather and gate information.

source: Surface via WPCentral

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