Digital Cockpits Go A Step Farther

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UPS has announce that it will retrofit more than 100 of its Boeing 757 and 767 freighters with Class III electronic flight bags (EFB) that will eliminate (we've heard this before) much of the paper in the cockpit. The Boeing-developed EFBs will give pilots instant electronic access to weather and charts and enable data transfer with the ground or with other aircraft. And with 80 gigs on the hard drive, there's plenty of room for new software applications. "Ultimately, it will help pilots with navigation and allow them to space their aircraft on their own; call up the most complete and accurate long-range weather maps; warn of potential collisions on the ground; push the maintenance logbook into the digital age, and place the entire flight manual within easy electronic recall," UPS spokesman Bob Lekites said in a news release. Supplementing the EFBs is the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems already installed on the aircraft. ADS-B allows the company to track its aircraft anywhere in the world and it also allows similarly equipped aircraft to see each other in flight. UPS has also ordered eight new Boeing 747-400s with all the electronic gear installed at the factory.