With the recent approval of Surface Pro 3 by US government, companies are coming forward to implement Surface for their businesses.
The latest news is that Austrian and Lufthansa Airlines have adopted Surface Pro 3 by deploying them inside flights, which will be used as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) for their pilots.
Austrian Airlines have so far deployed 650 Surface Pro 3 and they are in the process of procuring nearly 1000 more devices by the end of the year. Moreover, each A320 aircraft has already been equipped with both Surface Pro 3 devices and navAero connected mounts for a 3 month EFB operation with paper backup.
Austrian Airlines is in the process of achieving the goal of paperless operation upon approval from the Austrian civil aviation authority.
“Starting in the late 1990s with the arrival of the first laptops in the flight deck, the dream of a completely paperless cockpit is now actually becoming a reality thanks to the Surface tablets from Microsoft,” mentions Dr. Philipp, B777-Pilot, Austrian Airlines.
Austrian Airlines have been using laptops for 15 years to replace most of the paper on board but they could not be used during takeoff and landing. Thanks to the Surface tablet-based electronic flight bags mounted in the cockpit, that is now possible.
Cyril Belikoff, Senior Director, Microsoft Surface has posted pictures of Surface docked inside Austrian Airlines flight cockpit in his blog.
Surface Pro 3 tablets mounted in the cockpits of the Austrian Airlines fleet (© Austrian Airlines)
Germany based Lufthansa has purchased more than 5,000 Surface Pro 3 devices for pilots. According to official sources, the device will improve productivity for pilots in the cockpit and on the ground. The company is planning to roll out Surface Pro 3 on all flights from February onwards.
Microsoft recently announced that NavAero will build a mount that enables Surface Pro 3 to connect to onboard power and data systems in the cockpit. With the help of connected cockpits using Surface Pro 3, pilots will be able to get automatic updates to navigational and operational content in addition to access to critical real-time information like weather, wind and turbulence data.
In addition to the above developments, Surface Pro 3 has qualified for the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program and FAA/EASA authorization for commercial airlines.
Download Connected Cockpits Whitepaper (Research work in association with Microsoft)