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This article was published on August 23, 2011

United Airlines to deploy 11,000 iPads to its pilots by the end of the year

United Airlines to deploy 11,000 iPads to its pilots by the end of the year
Courtney Boyd Myers
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Courtney Boyd Myers

Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups gr Courtney Boyd Myers is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company designed to help New York and London based technology startups grow internationally. Previously, she was the Features Editor and East Coast Editor of TNW covering New York City startups and digital innovation. She loves magnets + reading on a Kindle. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter @CBM and .

Today, United Airlines announced it is converting to paperless flight decks by deploying 11,000 iPads to all United and Continental pilots. The iPad will be packed with flight charts, equipment manuals, and in-flight WiFi in a 1.6lb package, which is being referred to as an “electronic flight bag”.

Aeronautical navigational charts will be replaced by an iPad app called Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck, which features data-driven enroute navigation information and worldwide geo-referenced terminal charts.

“The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying,” said Captain Fred Abbott, United’s senior vice president of flight operations. “The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight.”

We’re seeing the move to iPads literally everywhere in the sky this summer. For starters, in May, Alaska Airlines announced that by June of this summer, all of its pilots would be switched over to iPads. Then last week, Delta announced it had begun testing some off-the-shelf tablets for use as “electronic flight bags” for their pilots starting with a test program of 22 iPads. Also last week, we reported that British Airways is testing 100 iPads initially, which will be rolled out to almost 2,000 senior crew members.

In a similar initiative, in June of this year, Virgin America, often looked to as the most tech savvy plane in the sky, began offering its passengers free Google Chromebooks in flight, although no word yet if the pilots will also be receiving digital presents.

For United Airlines, distribution of iPads began earlier this month, and all pilots will have them by year end. If only Steve Jobs could somehow make the iPad fly, then we wouldn’t need airplanes at all.