When we walk onto a 747 passenger plane with our carry-on luggage that is too big to fit in the overhead bin and our travel neck pillow for comfort on long flights, we don’t usually think about that is happening in the cockpit in front of us. We trust that our fearless captain will sail through the skyways and bring us safely back to the ground at our destination. Australian-based airline Quantas makes the captain’s job a little bit easier with the recently announced that it will implement the Boeing Onboard Performance Tool (OPT) for iPad.
This new application gives pilots the ideal speeds and engine settings for any aircraft, in any weather, on any runway, making it possible for better efficiency, range and payload on each flight. Quantas plans to roll out the OPT for iPad on 130 of its Boeing airplanes in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The OPT app can be used alone or alongside the Class 2 or 3 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) application, which calculates performance, displays charts, improves taxi positional awareness, provides video flight deck entry surveillance and allows electronic access to documents.
“The mobile OPT is the latest of our industry-leading airplane applications, part of our Digital Airline solutions suite. It was developed to give our customers a marketplace advantage as they serve their customers and run the most efficient operations possible,” said Per Noren, vice president of Information Services, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. “Boeing has a unique portfolio of digital solutions and we’re rapidly expanding it, making use of our existing and new, innovative technologies.”
Boeing’s OPT program has been very successful for a variety of airlines across the world. Since the iPad’s release, airlines have been asking the company to make a special app.
“We have been very successful in the marketplace with our existing OPT application, but our customers told us they wanted a version for iPad. When they talk, we listen, because we want to give them the competitive advantage they need to be successful every day,” said John Maggiore, director of Airline Performance Management, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. “That’s all part of the Boeing Edge.”
Quantas has previously made headline news for its embracing of the iPad. In July, the company announced the success of a trial program that would put an iPad in the hands of every passenger. The “Q-Streaming” in-flight entertainment service ran a six-month experiment to see how customers reacted to being able to use an iPad for access to Quantas’ proprietary app, which allows users to watch hundreds of hours of streaming movies and television shows. Thanks to its success, the Australian airline will be rolling out the Q-Streaming service through the fourth quarter of 2012.
It looks like both passenger and pilot at Quantas Airlines will be able to enjoy the usefulness of the iPad by the end of this year.