Boeing Software Helps Streamline Flight Crew Operations

The Boeing Company has introduced a new software product that optimizes airplane performance calculations, helps reduce pilot workload and improves the efficiency and dispatch reliability of flight operations.

The new Boeing Laptop Tool is a software application designed to increase operational efficiencies by optimizing takeoff and landing calculations. Used in a laptop computer, it also can provide quick access to the digital versions of paper manuals that pilots typically carry aboard airplanes.

Digitized reference sources that can be loaded in the Laptop Tool include the Flight Manual, Dispatch Deviations Guide, Minimum Equipment List, Operations Manual, Quick Reference Handbook and Flight Crew Training Manual. The Laptop Tool also provides for storing and viewing terminal area navigation charts.

"This new software streamlines flight crew procedures," said Steve Churchill, Boeing flight operations engineer. "For example, it automates performance calculations for takeoff and landing, eliminating the need to search for cross-referenced information from different documents and doing the calculations manually."

Another advantage is that the Laptop Tool contains more precise, customized data for an individual airplane compared to conventional paper manuals.

"The higher level of accuracy allows the flight crew to know the exact payload capacity for optimum efficiency on any runway in any weather condition," Churchill said. "In fact, any adjustment for prevailing conditions can be readily calculated with this software."

He noted that the speed, accuracy and capability of the Laptop Tool also help boost airplane schedule reliability.

"If there's a temporary condition that invalidates the data in a paper manual, someone needs to recalculate the numbers," Churchill said. "Sometimes it requires help from technical specialists back at the home base, which can be time consuming. With the Laptop Tool, however, the flight crew or local dispatch center can make those calculations without delay."

Eight commercial operators and all customers of the Boeing Business Jet are currently using the Laptop Tool. It is available for each airframe/engine combination in an operator's fleet.

The Laptop Tool is one of several information technology offerings from Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. These include both online and media-based products and services for airplane maintenance and operation.

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Dick Schleh