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Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 7:10 am

I've seen airline pilots using laptops during pre-flight. I have several questions regarding this procedure. What airlines use laptops (and for what aircraft)? What are they used for? Are the laptops directly connected to the aircraft? Do the airlines install special software? Any information about this practice is appreciated.
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RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 7:57 am

I'm sure there are probably others, but Fedex and SWA both use the OPS system made by the folks below:

The laptops (ours anyways) are Fujitsu laptops with a pen/mouse and a touch-sensitive screen. There is a charging cradle in the cockpit.

At the link above, there's a demo of the system, plus lots of pictures...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 8:07 am

The laptop is issued to each flight crewmember for link with the company, for many different purposes - we use it at home or in hotels, not only for flight documents but for all type of company communications...
(s) Skipper
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RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 12:09 pm

Yep....instant communication with HQ's from anywhere. Geez...i wonder how pilots survived before the Computer Age!!!! Guess they had to have plenty of Quarters on hand for the pay phones! LOL

Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
Jeff G
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RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 2:34 pm

JetBlue also uses OPS. We run it on issued laptops that stay with the pilot, though, not the airplane. So far the laptop is not directly linked to the airplane. It may happen someday, but that's a ways down the road.

We're also specifically authorized to use the laptops in flight (above 10000 ft, of course, or in an emergency), since they're loaded with company manuals, aircraft manuals, MEL, etc. We don't have paper copies of any of that. Only the checklist and QRH are on paper. And most company communications are through email. The Jepp charts are paper, but supposedly something is in the works to change that, too. It'll be nice to do away with revisions entirely.

It's not quite a true electronic flight bag, but it's a huge step in the right direction. For now, I'll settle for having all of our gates wired with wireless net access. It's already available in some places, but not everywhere. It's a neat way to get a quick check of rapidly changing weather, for instance. Or just check messages on  Big grin
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RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sat Nov 16, 2002 9:26 pm

EVA and finnair use laptops/palmtops to compute runway analysis.
SV MD11 have got all maintenance manuals/mel/cdl stored in a laptop on board
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RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sun Nov 17, 2002 3:13 pm

Similarly to what Jeff G said, Comair is apparently also studying the use of laptop-based approach plates. Within 5 years, it'll be commonplace.
buhh bye

RE: Airline Ops And Laptops

Sun Nov 17, 2002 3:24 pm

A laptop cost the company some $1,300 a piece...
My company phone bill monthly was $500 - I dont know about theirs calls...
They say their monthly cost for web is $100 per crewmember...
And we get it all, from Jeppesens, to flight plan, to flight attendant schedule changes...
And me keeping in touch with wife for shopping list...
(s) Skipper

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