Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Air Canada have announced plans to install the Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) on the fleet of all-new Boeing 777s and 787s ordered by the airline. Air Canada will be the first airline in North America to operate a Class 3 EFB, which is fully integrated into a commercial airplane's avionics.
Air Canada announced the 777 and 787 orders in November 2005. The airline now says it will have EFB systems installed, certified and delivered on all 18 of the 777-300ERs, 777-200LRs and 777 Freighters it will receive. In addition, it will get EFBs on the 14 787 airplanes it announced. Boeing is making the EFB standard equipment on the 787. The airline is scheduled to receive its first EFB-equipped 777 in 2007 and its first 787 in 2010.
"We're pleased with the momentum in the market for our Class 3 EFB," said Dan da Silva, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "Air Canada is a prime example of a first-class airline picking the Boeing EFB after conducting a rigorous review of available technology to determine what would best improve performance and enhance value."
EFB is a core technology of Boeing's vision of an e-Enabled air transport system, where data, information and knowledge can be shared instantly across an air-transport enterprise. Using software developed by Boeing and its subsidiary, Jeppesen, and hardware from Astronautics Corp. of America (ACA), the Boeing EFB digitally delivers vital charts and manuals that pilots need to fly an airplane, giving them immediate access to critical information. An instant performance calculator gives pilots the ideal speeds and engine setting for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload, and can create vast gains in efficiency, range and payload. Jeppesen's award-winning Airplane Moving Map - available only on Class 3 EFBs -- enhances runway situational awareness by integrating geo-referencing technology with Jeppesen airport taxi charts to show flight crews exactly where they are on the tarmac.
Installation of a multi-functional EFB is only part of what the Boeing team provides the airline, however. Jeppesen is focused on ensuring that any receiving airline has the infrastructure, training, systems and ability to develop additional content to take advantage of the EFB capabilities and reap the benefits of a paperless cockpit. These are among the items critical to a successful EFB implementation and together represent a major competitive advantage for Boeing in persuading customers to choose the Boeing team's Class 3 EFB.
With 80 Gigabytes of available memory in each pilot's EFB, the Boeing solution provides plenty of room for new applications as they become available, such as enhanced fault reporting and electronic logbook, en route moving maps, enhanced electronic checklists, real-time weather information, and real-time Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) information. In addition, the open-architecture design of the Class 3 EFB and its integration into the airplane's larger systems give it unmatched potential for Boeing, airlines and even third-party software designers to create even more exciting applications.