During your more recent flights you may have noticed that some of the PlaneSense® flight crews have been utilizing iPads. For a number of different reasons, the conversion over to tablet technology creates a more efficient flying operation. Not only are the iPads used as an upgrade from traditional navigation charts, but they also allow for a more direct communication platform between the crew and the PlaneSense® Flight Operations Center.
The tablets are a much more weight and space efficient option on board than the traditional paper navigation charts. An iPad weighs approximately 1.5 lbs and boasts a compact 9.5-inch product design as opposed to a 36 lb. duffel bag of paper charts. It is easy to recognize a distinguishable advantage to the digital upgrade.
The iPads also make updates to navigation systems more accessible and immediate. Gone are the days when navigation updates required a re-order and re-stock of multiple leather-bound paper manuals. The tablets allow for instant updates in real-time with the swipe of a finger.
The Australian company ASiQ Limited recently paid a visit to our Portsmouth headquarters in order to demonstrate its iJetCell. This portable in-flight digital communication device provides an application-based system that functions exclusively with Apple devices through the App Store. The device could allow for easy in-flight access to your email and text messages. If implemented, not only would owners benefit from the technology upgrade, but PlaneSense® flight crews could also find advantages in a more streamlined form of communication with the Flight Operations Center and Maintenance Control personnel.
The iJetCell allows iPhones or iPads to connect via Bluetooth to the Iridium Satellite Phone (which would maintain full operations and standard usage fees, in addition to the iJetCell) that is currently on board all PlaneSense® program aircraft. Such connectivity would allow for SMS and email communication while in flight. The Bluetooth connection offers an alternative to a Wi-Fi hotspot installed in the aircraft, which typically necessitates expensive certification requirements through the FAA.
The iJetCell is just one of several connectivity solutions we are investigating. In an effort to better understand if this technology is of interest to you, we ask that you participate in this short survey (by scanning the QR-Code) regarding the future of cabin connectivity and PlaneSense, Inc. Your feedback is always warmly welcomed and will allow us to move forward with an even better sense of your in-flight preferences.