Boeing [NYSE: BA]
Commercial Aviation Services' Crew Information Services (CIS) group will install the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on board KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' new fleet of Boeing 777s, making the Netherlands-based carrier the launch customer for this revolutionary technology.
The Electronic Flight Bag can contain all documentation and forms carried by pilots -- aeronautical charts, manuals for fault reporting and operations, minimum equipment lists and logbooks -- in digital format at the crew's fingertips. It also includes a weight-and-balance calculator that allows pilots to calculate the ideal speeds and engine setting for an aircraft instantly, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload. Such instant calculations could increase the payload of a 777 taking off on a wet runway by as much as 9,000 kilograms (20,000 pounds).
In addition, the Electronic Flight Bag can enhance runway situational awareness as it integrates geo-referencing technology with airport taxi charts to show flight crews exactly where they are on the tarmac. It also gives flight crews a viewer for cabin surveillance systems, helping them meet new and anticipated regulatory requirements.
"We are excited to be the launch customer for CIS and the EFB," said Capt. Ype de Haan, executive vice president Flight Operations for KLM. "It will help our fleet of 777s -- already the most advanced aircraft in the sky -- reach even greater levels of efficiency and reliability."
KLM will use a hard-mounted Class 3 version of the Electronic Flight Bag comprising Jeppesen software and electronics and display hardware from Astronautics Corp. on its aircraft. Boeing's Crew Information Services will work with the two suppliers to find the ideal configurations for the flight bag aboard Boeing airplanes. Boeing also will work to certify the Class 3 flight bag as part of the flight deck and integrate it into a larger Crew Information Services system. KLM will be able to use its Class 3 certified EFB system under new guidelines from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration during all phases of flight, from gate to gate.
Under the agreement, Boeing Crew information Services will have an Electronic Flight Bag system installed, certified and delivered on the first of 10 777s that KLM has ordered, and all deliveries thereafter. The first airplane is scheduled for delivery in October 2003.
Installation of an Electronic Flight Bag gives KLM a first step into the future of Crew Information Services. Boeing intends to offer content, applications and services that connect all the data generated by an entire flight operation -- in the air, on the ground and in the hangar -- and make it meaningful to all users: pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, operations departments, airport users and other potential customers.