Reports: American Airlines wins FAA approval for in-cockpit iPads, will launch Friday

If you fly as an American Airlines premium passenger, you'll get to play with a Galaxy Tab. If you actually fly the plane, though, you'll have to make do with an iPad. According to ZDNet, the carrier has already won FAA approval to use iPads "as electronic chart and digital flight manual readers," making it the world's first airline to be totally tablet friendly. A source close to the situation tells ZDNet that AA "will begin iPad operations on B-777 aircraft" before expanding to other planes, and that both first and second generation devices have been cleared for cockpit use. An AA pilot, meanwhile, tells TechCrunch that the company's tablets will feature JeppTC (a flight chart app available in the App Store), and that all onboard slates will be required to fly with an extra battery. The program, slated to kick off this Friday, could also offer substantial savings in paper and fuel costs. According to Seattle Pi's estimates, a single iPad would replace some 35 pounds of paper per year, translating to approximately $1.2 million in saved fuel costs. Insiders say United and Delta are pursuing similar initiatives, with the latter reportedly looking for an Android-specific solution, though at the moment, only American Airlines has won the FAA's seal of approval.