Boeing [NYSE: BA] and SonAir, the air transportation arm of Angola's national oil company Sonangol, today announced a firm order to install Class 3 Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) on two 737-700s and one 737-700C with a quick-change option (convertible from freighter to passenger). SonAir will take delivery of the 737-700s beginning in 2007.
SonAir is getting Class 3 EFBs, which are fully integrated into a commercial airplane's avionics.
"The availability of leading-edge technology such as the Boeing Electronic Flight Bag played a major role in our selection of the 737," said Capt. Jose Machado Jorge, executive vice president of Operations for SonAir and a member of the board. "The EFB will help as we work to create the safest, most efficient fleet possible."
EFB is a core technology in Boeing's vision of an e-Enabled air-transport system, where data, information and knowledge can be shared easily across an aviation 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 quick access to the information they need. One available option is an onboard performance tool that gives pilots the ideal speeds and engine settings for an aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, with any payload, and can create vast gains in efficiency, range and payload.
"SonAir is a great example of an operator that recognizes the value and superior capability of a Boeing Class 3 EFB," said Dan da Silva, vice president of sales and marketing for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. "Boeing is committed to helping our customers succeed, and more customers are choosing Boeing as the company that can help them flourish with a range of products devoted to efficient and effective operations and maintenance."
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 enterprise has the infrastructure, training, systems and ability to develop additional content to take advantage of the EFB's 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, along with dual processors and operating systems (Windows for open applications and Linux for certified applications), the Boeing solution provides plenty of room for additional capabilities as they become available, such as enhanced fault reporting and electronic logbook; real-time weather information; en route moving maps; 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 even third-party software designers to create exciting applications.