There are so many great useage scenarios for Tablet PC’s that have yet to be explored. I have seen over on TabletPCBuzz.com a few small plane pilots talking about how effective their tablet has been for them in their flight planning and monitoring tasks, but this is the first time I have seen a tablet being put into one of the “big boys”.
Air New Zealand is putting Toshiba M200’s in the cockpits of some new B777 aircraft for a thrid pilot to use. Check out this article from Scoop Independent News in New Zealand. Here is a blurb from the article:
“The New Zealand office of Toshiba (Australia) Pty. Limited Information Systems Division (ISD) today announced that Air New Zealand has implemented Toshiba Tablet PC technology for use onboard the flight deck of their new B777 aircraft during long haul flights. The Tablets are to be used by a third pilot on board each craft to monitor fight plans and procedures within the cockpit. Each of the eight new planes in the 777 fleet has two pilot crew stations with in-built computers and technology for pilots to use during flight. The addition of the Toshiba Tablet PCs allows a third pilot to effectively monitor flight progress and performance independently from their crew seat.”
There is also some mention of other tablets flying high:
“Callum Eade, New Zealand Country Manager for Toshiba ISD, said he was excited to see Toshiba Tablets being used by Air New Zealand for this type of application. “Tablets are a very versatile tool and perfectly suited to this environment where space is at a premium. Already the Life Flight Trust, (operators of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter in Wellington) and the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Foundation use Toshiba Tablets and Moving Map software. They have proven their reliability, have excellent screen visibility under various lighting condition and good battery life. They can also power directly from the aircraft’s power bus.”
This all just makes sense to me. It also shows that Tablet’s are finding new homes!