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.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The Nokia Lumia 820 features a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM. It has 8GB of onboard storage and supports microSD cards up to 64GB. The 820 sports a vibrant 4.3” AMOLED screen featuring Nokia’s much-touted ClearBlack technology, a 8MP rear and a front-facing VGA camera. It also features wireless charging support.
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