Pilots go mobile
Mobile apps for aviation – a great example of mobile technologies being used extensively and dramatically changing a whole industry in just a few years.

Problem – pilots need maps, just the same as drivers do. But because they are going faster and farther they need maps that cover 1000s of square miles. In the past, pilots carried big bags full of paper charts. Some covered big areas, but some covered only one part of one airport. Pilots had to take them all everywhere they went. The charts came in separate books and on a single trip, the pilot would need to reference just one or two pages out of all the books.

Solution – convert all the information in all the books and charts into digital format and make it easy to display on a mobile device. Smartphones were a big help, but the screen was too small for some of the chart displays to be useful. When tablets became available, now this was a huge improvement. Within a few years, it was legal to use just the digital version of all these books and charts.

  • pre-flight and in-flight – moving maps, approach charts, weather graphics, document organization, flight plan filing
  • attitude-based synthetic vision display
  • flight training
  • weather briefing
  • navigation reference
  • electronic logbooks
  • FAR/AIM regulations

Engineering contributions

  • cellular communication, data network
  • mobile devices, flat screen, touch screen, storage technologies
  • user interface, application development,
  • e-commerce, electronic distribution

There’s an app for that…

Engineering ideas

  • mobile device, digitization, user interface design, application development,

Learn more…