Microsoft's Surface 2 will replace paper manuals on all Delta aircraft

By on September 30, 2013, 6:00 PM
microsoft, tablet, lumia, microsoft surface, delta, surface 2, pilots

Shoring up rumors on the subject, Delta Air Lines has announced plans to equip 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets. The devices will initially be used to replace heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts, aircraft operating documents, reference manuals and the like according to joint press release on the matter.

Each flight kit weighs around 38 pounds so when Delta replaces all of them in the fleet with a lightweight tablet, they’re looking to reduce fuel usage by an estimated 1.2 million gallons per year. That translates into a 26-million-pound reduction in carbon emissions which is the equivalent of taking more than 2,300 passenger vehicles off the road. Additionally, the company will be able to reduce paper usage by 7.5 million sheets each year and will save an estimated 900 trees annually.

This is the second major partnership between Delta Air Lines and Microsoft this year. Over the summer, the company launched a program that would give each of their 19,000+ flight attendants a Nokia Lumia 820 handset with AT&T service.

The phones will be used to handle in-flight point-of-sale, check frequent flyer information, passenger manifestos, connecting gate information and more, the companies said.

Delta will begin the Surface 2 rollout later this year on Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. All Delta cockpits are projected to go paperless by the end of next year, we’re told. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available starting October 22.




User Comments: 21

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Timonius Timonius said:

Nice, but what happens when they bsod! lol

wastedkill said:

So this is how microsoft plans to reduce some of that $900+million writeoff they recently did.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nice, but what happens when they bsod! lol
Chances are that little detail will not be mentioned in the black box flight data. Maybe they will have redundancy and actually have more than one on hand (unless they are mounted into the console).

Guest said:

They will probably have a backup Surface Pro 2. Still cheaper than using paper.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Still cheaper than using paper.
Somehow I doubt that.

Compare the price and lifespan of the Surface Pro to the cost of a paper manual. My God thats either an expensive paper manual or it is updated (I couldn't imagine very much changing between commission and decommission) every month. If anything the Surface Pro will be more convenient, but at a greater cost in the long run. I don't even think it will save on the number of trees cut down, we will find a way to continue killing our forest (it is in our nature).

Guest said:

===>..."passenger manifestos[sic]"

That should come in handy when the Unibomber is on board.:p

Guest said:

And yet passengers still arent granted the same luxury, quite silly.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

DELTA knows best, but frankly only one sided. All the printed material in the plane for passengers should be on the SURFACE as well to even save more fuel cost. This goes for all classes on the plane too.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All the printed material in the plane for passengers should be on the SURFACE as well to even save more fuel cost. This goes for all classes on the plane too.
I can see it now. Someone needs a Surface Pro, so they can read "Sit down, shut up, and wait for the plane to land", in big bold letters. lol Yeah I know, there is a bit more to it. But seriously does it really need the expense of a tablet, to educate passengers in what should be common sense? Besides if the tablets were not nailed down, they would walk off the plane.

Arris Arris said:

Haha, I thought at first this was going to be about replacing the safety card, in flight magazine and other material that you get in the seat pocket.

1 person liked this | gamoniac said:

Now, it is only fair if they have to turn off the device during take-off and landing, too

gamoniac said:

All the printed material in the plane for passengers should be on the SURFACE as well to even save more fuel cost. This goes for all classes on the plane too.
I can see it now. Someone needs a Surface Pro, so they can read "Sit down, shut up, and wait for the plane to land", in big bold letters. lol Yeah I know, there is a bit more to it. But seriously does it really need the expense of a tablet, to educate passengers in what should be common sense? Besides if the tablets were not nailed down, they would walk off the plane.

The article says it is for the pilot manual, not the passenger safety guide. I guess it makes sense to be able to do a search for keywords "how to land safely" than having to flip through hundreds pages in a pinch of time.

Guest said:

If you're pilot has to look up "How to land safely", you've got bigger than issues than the format used for the manual.

gamoniac said:

If you're pilot has to look up "How to land safely", you've got bigger than issues than the format used for the manual.

Hint: it was a joke.

arockylypse arockylypse said:

Nice, but what happens when they bsod! lol

Gives new meaning to the term Blue Screen Of Death eh?

1 person liked this | Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Nice, but what happens when they bsod! lol
Chances are that little detail will not be mentioned in the black box flight data. Maybe they will have redundancy and actually have more than one on hand (unless they are mounted into the console).

They're replacing a flight manual. A flight. Manual. That's a book. Books don't control flight systems. Flight systems don't have any knowledge of books.

Still cheaper than using paper.
Somehow I doubt that.

Compare the price and lifespan of the Surface Pro to the cost of a paper manual. My God thats either an expensive paper manual or it is updated (I couldn't imagine very much changing between commission and decommission) every month. If anything the Surface Pro will be more convenient, but at a greater cost in the long run. I don't even think it will save on the number of trees cut down, we will find a way to continue killing our forest (it is in our nature).

Firstly, they're buy Surface 2s, not Surface 2 Pros.

Secondly, the savings isn't in the cost of buying the flight kits, but in the fuel consumption, you nub. 11,000 Surface 2s at retail (which they are definitely not paying) is $4,939,000. Delta has estimated $13 million in fuel cost savings, which means in the first year, they will still be saving $8 million after having bought the tablets. They could buy brand new tablets each year, and still save more money than using the paper flight kits.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Nice, but what happens when they bsod! lol

Gives new meaning to the term Blue Screen Of Death eh?

Don't you mean "Blue Scream of Death?"

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Maybe MS is throwing in a hidden compartment in these Surface 2's to accommodate parachutes for the cockpit crew just to sweeten the deal... I wonder if Ballmer will have the courage to fly Delta Airlines after the deal goes through... I mean he wouldn't want to miss out on his golden handshake, would he now?

Guest said:

Wonder how much Microsoft is paying Delta to use their device. I am sure an ipad would have saved just as much on the paper manuals and the ipads actually work.

IAMTHESTIG said:

Why not an eReader? A Surface tablet? What a waste...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Secondly, the savings isn't in the cost of buying the flight kits, but in the fuel consumption, you nub.

The manuals must be huge, if they make that much difference. I don't believe those figures, made up to convince head office it is a good idea. The thing about quick calculations in a sales pitch is they are often wrong and too many variables were never considered.

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