withak
Topic Author
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:29 pm

Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:53 pm

The use of tablet computers such as iPads has been slowly growing in relation to Electronic Flight Bags for pilots. I was wondering if anyone had any experience in using iPads or other consumer tablets in a maintenance environment as a replacement for paperbased publications or publications loaded onto ruggedized laptops?
 
B6JFKH81
Posts: 1962
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:35 am

RE: Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:43 am

Quoting withak (Thread starter):
as a replacement for paperbased publications or publications loaded onto ruggedized laptops?

That's the problem right there....they really need to make these things beyond tough. MX laptops have the potential of getting thrown around, dropped, hit by tooling, dripped on with HyJet and Mobil JetII (and all those other wonderful things that can drip onto it or transfer from fingers to tablet) and otherwise take a lickin' during normal MX ops and needs to keep on tickin'. Apple would also have to make the programs compatible with their operating systems. Software is a HUGE part of planes now.

Is it possible, sure. But they're going to have to beef it up big time IMHO. Currently, I believe we're still utilizing ToughBooks because they hold up well.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
nonfirm
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:04 pm

RE: Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:06 am

I am testing a version of the Maintenance Manuals now on the iPad.With the proper case and screen protector it seems to be working out great.Where the problem is going to come in is getting the infrastructure in place at all of the maintenance locations so it can operate on our secured company network this includes all of the equipment required to activate WiFi around the area where the iPad will be used.This is a cost issue in regards to running the thing on it's 3 g connection all of the time.It has great potential to replace almost everything we do including singing for scheduled overnight work instead of having piles and piles of paperwork.I am working with the manual in a PDF format at the current time and it is working great.It is nice to have the ability to completed a log book sign off right at the aircraft and not have a ton of paperwork with you.
 
rfields5421
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:34 am

When my old company got a Gulfstream 200 - they got almost no paper maintenance documentation. Everything was on CD.

Using it on a tablet like an iPad is the same as using it on a laptop. We did have to go out and buy a Panasonic ToughBook for the aircraft department because the regular IBM/Leveno models we used in the company didn't survive.

BTW - Panasonic now sells a fully ruggedized tablet with a 10.5" screen - their H2 - quite good specs compared to the iPad - just a bit pricier - $2,800 to $3,600 depending upon the source.
 
withak
Topic Author
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:29 pm

RE: Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:19 am

Quoting nonfirm (Reply 2):
I am testing a version of the Maintenance Manuals now on the iPad.With the proper case and screen protector it seems to be working out great.

If you don't mind me asking what screen protectors and cases are you using? Are you treating the iPad in the same way you would treat a ToughBook?
 
nonfirm
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:04 pm

RE: Use Of Tablets In Aircraft Maintenance

Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:23 am

Quoting withak (Reply 4):
If you don't mind me asking what screen protectors and cases are you using? Are you treating the iPad in the same way you would treat a ToughBook?

I am using the Otterbox Defender case.I am not sure how you would treat a ToughBook I know the thing is pretty rugged and I have not used one.I know we passed on them because of the size and the weight of them.The nice part about the iPad is it is a whole lot easier to carry around than a laptop or a netbook.I am using it in a Line Environment now so it almost fits in my tool bag and it is easy to use and the battery life on it has been great.The other thing that has worked out better for us than a laptop/netbook is when we need to take a picture of something damaged on the aircraft we can immediately send it to who we need to for them to evaluate the problem.

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