modular, integrated hardware and software package calculates
performance figures, displays charts, improves taxi positional
awareness, provides video flight deck entry surveillance,
and allows electronic access to documents. A scaleable offering
of three configurations portable, semiportable, and
installed avionics provides airlines with flexibility
in choosing their solution. The Electronic Flight Bag will
help airlines reduce costs, improve taxiway and flight deck
safety, and establish convenient access to digital documents.
Boeing offers airlines
e-enabled solutions that put innovative, valuable information technology
on board airplanes. A prime example is the Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.,
Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). The EFB is a major step toward e-enabling
the entire air transport system from the flight deck to the
cabin, maintenance, and the airport.
The EFB is offered in
three configurations: portable, semiportable with mount, and installed
avionics. Common software for all three types will allow airlines
to implement any combination in their fleets while maintaining common
training and operating procedures. This article describes the installation
and operation of the Class 3 EFB system, which is the initial system
Through its unique combination
of modular content, applications, and services that integrate the
data generated by an entire flight operation, the EFB will provide
key, meaningful information to pilots, flight attendants, operations
workers, mechanics, and other personnel (fig.
The EFB display integrates
well with the look and feel of other flight deck instrumentation
and is consistent with the flight deck design philosophy and operation
Airlines will realize
many benefits with the EFB, including
- Reduced fuel and
maintenance costs through precise, accurate calculations.
Current takeoff and landing calculations are conservative and
often are based on early dispatch weight and balance information,
which adds delay and cost to each flight. The EFB will save airlines
costs while increasing payload by providing more accurate calculations
based on real-time information. These calculations can result
in lower thrust ratings, which reduce engine maintenance costs.
- Improved taxiway
safety. The taxiway environment can be challenging for pilots,
especially when visibility is limited or during the night at unfamiliar
airports. The Class 3 EFB enhances pilot runway and taxiway situational
awareness by integrating onboard georeferencing equipment (e.g.,
Global Positioning System [GPS] technology) with Jeppesen electronic
airport taxi maps. Pilots have greater awareness of position
from the runway to the gate which improves safety and reduces
taxi time. (The Class 2 EFB presents a moving map of the airport
but does not indicate current airplane position.)
- Flight deck entry
surveillance for compliance with current International Civil Aviation
Organization recommendations. Class 2 and Class 3 EFB displays
can host cabin-to-flight deck video feeds, providing airlines
with flight deck entry surveillance.
- Future integration
capabilities for e-enabled airlines. Initial implementations
of the EFB will allow connectivity through the terminal wireless
local area network unit. The system also can integrate with the
ARINC 763compliant CoreNet Connexion by BoeingSM server
to provide seamless wideband airline administrative connectivity
on the ground or in the air.
- Elimination of
paper from the flight deck and access to digital documents. Eliminating
paper from the flight deck saves weight and reduces clutter. For
example, without the EFB, a single 777-200ER flight requires 77
lb of paper. Accessing digital documents on the flight deck is
an efficient, convenient way for pilots to quickly obtain the
information they need. Configuration-controlled documents such
as aeronautical charts, fault reporting and operations manuals,
minimum equipment lists, and logbooks are available at the pilots
fingertips. The distributed data management (DDM) system provides
an airline logistics system to ensure that all airplanes will
have up-to-date information.
Future EFB upgrades will
support real-time updates of time-sensitive data such as in-flight
weather reporting, notices to airmen (NOTAM), and an onboard electronic
checklist (for non-777 airplanes). Boeing is working with Jeppesen
to install Class 2 and Class 3 EFB systems on Boeing airplanes,
both in production and through retrofit. Class 1 portable EFB systems,
which also are available, do not require installation. The first
EFB implementation will be a Class 3 system on a production 777-200ER
airplane for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
This article describes
- EFB applications.
- EFB communications
and data management features.
- EFB architecture
The current EFB applications
- Taxi positional awareness
(airport moving map).
- Video surveillance.
The performance application calculates precise takeoff and landing
performance figures for each airplane under any conditions (fig.
3). The calculations are based on a combination of preloaded
and pilot-entered data.
Preloaded data include
- Airport characteristics
(e.g., elevation, runway data, obstacle data).
- Airplane data (e.g.,
tail number, engine type and rating, flap configuration).
- Airline policy information
(V1 type used or menu items).
- Current runway conditions.
- Current environmental
conditions (e.g., outside temperature, wind velocity).
- Specific airplane
configuration (e.g., flap position, airplane status).
- NOTAM data that may
- Deferred maintenance
items (e.g., minimum equipment list, configuration data list)
that affect performance.
The e-documents application allows flight crew members to view and
search current electronic documents on the flight deck (fig.
4). Available documents include the flight crew operating manual,
U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations, and the Aeronautical Information