Tablets on planes? Score one for Panasonic’s Windows 8 Toughpad

by David Needle

July 2 2013

Most of the stories about tablets on planes have been about iPad deployments, with a few Samsung Android deployments making the rounds as well. 

But Windows 8 tablets got a boost from BA CityFlyer this week when the British Airways subsidiary announced it’s the first UK airline to deploy Panasonic’s rugged Toughpad tablets for flights operating out of London City Airport.

Specifically, Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets running Windows 8 Professional, are being used by engineers and flight crew on each of the airline's aircraft.

The Toughpad is used to record the aircraft flight details, technical data associated with each flight and provides real time maintenance status of the aircraft.

As the flight and technical details are entered into the Toughpad using the touchscreen the information is transmitted immediately to servers which feed into the BA CityFlyer maintenance system, eliminating any need for manual data inputting.  Another benefit is the option to generate PDF prints of the technical log pages.

With the Toughpads, BA CityFlyer engineers and crew can access real time information on the aircraft status through a Web-based application as well as the BA CityFlyer maintenance system.

The airline said the process speeds up the availability of information to the airline's Maintenance Control and provides crew and engineers attending the aircraft, real time visibility of the aircraft's technical status and makes for more efficient maintenance planning.

This in turn can speed up aircraft turn around times and facilitate more efficient maintenance planning. The ETL also provides the fuel data to produce reports for carbon emissions trading and other additional information such as de-icing procedures in cold weather.

BA CityFlyer tested the new Panasonic Toughpad tablets with the latest ETL (Electronic Technical Log) application from NVable.

The new Toughpads, sporting a 10.1-inch full HD (1920 x 1200) resolution display, replace the Panasonic CF-19 Toughbook notebooks that the airline had been using for the past 4 years and are 50% lighter.

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