Airbus A320 family to use Dell Latitude laptops for electronic flight bags

Airbus isn't putting all its eggs in one basket -- or rather, one bag. While it already has a suite of iPad cockpit apps to assist pilots, the aircraft maker is hedging its bet with a deal to use Dell Latitude laptops as electronic flight bags on the A320 family. Crews will get the Latitude E6330 installed as a Class-2 device that can link up with the A320's avionics; as you'd expect, the PCs will also ship with software for maps, manuals and weather. We've reached out to learn just which carriers are going this route, although possible expansion to other Airbus vehicles could make Dell a common sight at 36,000 feet.

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Airbus and Dell OEM Solutions Launch Electronic Flight Bag Service

* Dell OEM Solutions to manage integration and configuration of Dell Latitude laptops for FlySmart with Airbus "Class-2" Electronic Flight Bag solution;

* Dell OEM Solutions will source, configure, and support the solution for Airbus' single-aisle aircraft in both forward-fit and retrofit scenarios;

* Agreement reinforces Dell's commitment to aviation industry; will benefit Airbus aircraft operators.

Dell OEM Solutions has partnered with Airbus, to support A320 Family airliner operators worldwide by providing an end-to-end Electronic Flight Bag (EFB*) solution supported by Dell Latitude solutions. Dell laptops, which adhere to strict regulatory standards, will be pre-loaded with FlySmart with Airbus software and installed as Class-2** EFB equipment. This EFB approach eliminates the need to carry paper based flight documentation while digitizing information in a way that supports local specifications. This initial announcement will cover EFB Class-2 solutions for Airbus' Single Aisle aircraft, though the agreement includes scope to extend application to other aircraft types.

"Airbus is dedicated to helping airlines enhance the profitability of their fleets by working with industry experts like Dell OEM to deliver the best possible solution," said Didier Lux, Airbus Executive Vice President of Customer Services. "Pilots will soon benefit from the very latest portable IT technology for viewing and interacting with their key documentation and information during all stages of the flight. Furthermore, this powerful and robust EFB solution will add value and increase efficiency to their daily work."

"Dell OEM's ability to deliver customizable, best in class solutions designed to meet unique business goals is crucial to our customers. Our market insight, flexibility and speed differentiate us from other Tier One manufacturers and integrators," said Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager OEM Solutions at Dell. "Our relationship with Airbus further cements our commitment to the aviation industry and our agility in delivering and supporting the EFB solution to Airbus customers globally re-enforces the strength and efficiency of our global supply chain."

The agreement with Dell showcases Airbus' shared commitment to continued innovation. This Class-2 EFB solution supported by Airbus and Dell OEM allows airline operators to connect Dell Latitude laptops to the aircraft cockpit via a certified connection. Moreover, the device can be used at any point during the flight to access performance applications, electronic documentation of the airline's manuals, weather information, navigation and airport charts. As well as ensuring the overall physical robustness required for a cockpit operational environment, Dell's Latitude EFB solution also complies with strict aviation regulations and offers dependable security and in-depth data and device-management options.

Notes for Editors:

* An "EFB" is an electronic system for viewing and interacting with flight crew functions which have previously been accomplished using paper references (operating manuals, performance calculations, navigation charts);

** A "Class-2" EFB takes the form of a portable laptop which is connectable to aircraft's avionics systems and power supply via a docking station. As such, this EFB classification means that it need not be permanently built into the cockpit's console. Rather, the pilots can disconnect it from the aircraft, take it with them when leaving the aircraft and continue working with the data to prepare for the next flight.