Jump to content
ClearedHot

Electronic flight bags could boost operational safety, effectiveness

Recommended Posts

On 11/13/2017 at 7:10 AM, HuggyU2 said:

Maybe so.  But Beale does.  

So do we. We're still having problems with the Aero App.  POS app.  I use Jepp at Jetblue and will never go back.  AMC made a big mistake discontinuins the Jepp App.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, disgruntledemployee said:

You know, here's an area the AF could borrow a page from the airline playbook.  UAL, company issued ipad with Jepp, WX, Go/No-go (their version), crew papers, all pubs, and any other app needed to fly a plane.  It snaps into a holder on the plane so its secure in flight.  Updates are pushed (pubs) or hit update (Jepp) to ensure the latest data.  Ipad is wifi and cellular.  I can update it at home on my own wifi, on the way to the airport, in a hotel room off free wifi, or at Starbucks getting the morning coffee.  So, an easy solution exists.  The cost of fear is what's stopping them.

Out

How do you keep it charged? Power from the jet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/12/2017 at 6:44 PM, AZwildcat said:

...The amount of restriction and micro-management on EFBs is crazy...

Can't speak for the pubs/flying pieces.  But these EFB's are a wonderful threat vector.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/15/2017 at 4:14 AM, Majestik Møøse said:

How do you keep it charged? Power from the jet?

My fully charged ipad can usually last the entire day, sometimes 3 legs (depending on the ios update and the battery drain changes they make each time).  And that's with wifi on in the air where we can receive wx updates.  If I need a charge, the 737 has a standard 115v AC outlet.  However, the company has an approved panel they're adding in with USB power outlets on both sides of the cockpit. 

Out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, 17D_guy said:

Can't speak for the pubs/flying pieces.  But these EFB's are a wonderful threat vector.

Easy: spring for the cellular data.  No connection to NIPR.

The co$t of $ecurity.

Edited by BFM this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 9:23 AM, AZwildcat said:

So ACC recently stood up it's own EFB program.  Just slightly late to the party I suppose.  I wanted to revive the discussion and see what other units are up to these days, especially other CAF folks who are starting to fly with iPads.  Here's some questions to throw out in no particular order:

- iPad issuing:  Is anyone issuing out iPads at the step desk before flight?  They were starting to do that in AETC last I saw.  When you're flying solo in a fighter/trainer/U-2/etc,  ACC is requiring us to carry two iPads for redundancy.  Hauling around two iPads that are locked down to the point of just barely being useful seems like a pain, issuing them from the ops desk before flight, or at least a spare seems more reasonable.

- Charging/mounting solutions:  In the T-38 I've started flying with a battery back in my kneeboard so I can keep it charged on cross country flights.  Any air frames successfully get a power supply installed in the jet?  We've looked at building adapters to plug into the map light, but no fielded solutions yet.  Same story on mounting solutions.  I think most fighter types are going to be relegated to using it as a kneeboard, due to limited cockpit space, but accessories like the Stratus GPS receiver really deserve they're own integrated mounting solution.  We've been using the suction cup mounts that come with the Stratus but they fall off all the time and don't do well pulling Gs.  Hell even Velcro to the glareshield would be better.

- Mobile Device Management / IT support:  Anyone have IT support to help them out or is it all bro-level additional duties assigned to the one guy in your unit who likes to nerd out?  I've seen mostly the latter.  We're trying to get a contractor/GS position to help out on that front.

- Classified Use:  Anyone out there successfully using iPads in classified roles?  I imagine AFSOC guys have some experience with this.  The goal is to have moving map functionality as well as e-reader function.  What about ForeFlight?  Seems like it would be possible to use it in a standalone device but you'd just need a way to side load the licensing info to the app.  FF already has a feature to side load all the nav data and pubs.  Also, I've heard about ATAK tablets being used in flight but I think that's an Android platform.

 

AMC and AFSOC were taking the first steps toward a professional solution getting Jepp FD Pro and Ops Data for their aircrew in 2015.  Then they dropped it last month in the interest that the AERO app was "good enough".  They took one step forward toward an integrated EFB solution that integrates not just worldwide dynamic digital charts and performance data but the ability to customize it and add our secure content, to going back to a static .pdf e-reader. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, TheJuice said:

AMC and AFSOC were taking the first steps toward a professional solution getting Jepp FD Pro and Ops Data for their aircrew in 2015.  Then they dropped it last month in the interest that the AERO app was "good enough".  They took one step forward toward an integrated EFB solution that integrates not just worldwide dynamic digital charts and performance data but the ability to customize it and add our secure content, to going back to a static .pdf e-reader. 

Aero App sucks...and NGA wonders why ForeFlight is far and away their number one app on the NGA app store.  DOD just needs to pay ForeFlight to make a Mil version of their app and put in all the features we want.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/20/2017 at 9:41 PM, AZwildcat said:

Aero App sucks...and NGA wonders why ForeFlight is far and away their number one app on the NGA app store.  DOD just needs to pay ForeFlight to make a Mil version of their app and put in all the features we want.

Aero sucks big time, and anything COTS is better.

That being said, I had both a ForeFlight and Jepp Pro account for a year, Jeppesen through AMC and ForeFlight as a huge favor from the vendor at ATA. I actually much preferred Jeppesen to ForeFlight. The user interface was more intuitive and streamlined. ForeFlight felt a bit bloated, and most of its features weren’t useful for C-5 flying. My biggest problem with ForeFlight is it freezes up if you load too many waypoints, like from Rota to the Gulf for example. It’s just not designed for that.

Biggest benefit of Jeppesen I think is the access to airways manuals, although those might be available on ForeFlight now that the two are partnered. I don’t know since my account just expired. The Area Planning pubs are woefully outdated, and there were times going into big international airports that reading the Jeppesen manuals at the least made us fit in better with the traffic and at the most saved us from being downright procedurally wrong. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ACC bought 9,000 ipad minis, to issue two per pilot.  I know the F-16 checklists are now EFB-friendly, but still waiting on the SPO to issue the safe to fly MFR to ACC.  That should happen before the end of the year.  The 1067 mentioned that NGA a as planning to stop producing paper FLIP in the FY19 timeframe.  So if your community isn't paperless yet, it'll be forced that way before long.  Better to be prepared than keep heads in the sand.

Edited by stract

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, stract said:

ACC bought 9,000 ipad minis, to issue two per pilot.  I know the F-16 checklists are now EFB-friendly, but still waiting on the SPO to issue the safe to fly MFR to ACC.  That should happen before the end of the year.  The 1067 mentioned that NGA a as planning to stop producing paper FLIP in the FY19 timeframe.  So if your community isn't paperless yet, it'll be forced that way before long.  Better to be prepared than keep heads in the sand.

Getting a bunch of knuckle dragging aviators to update one iPad is hard enough, let alone two.  I understand the need for redundancy in case one overheats but makes way more sense to check out a spare from the ops desk.  I still don't understand why the SPO has to approve iPads unless it's actually plugging in to the jet.  ACC had a nice thing going with the Acronis app for pubs, but that's been shut down due to "security concerns" from what I understand.  There's too many cooks in the kitchen on this, and it's only going to get worse as they try to make a one size fits all solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, AZwildcat said:

Getting a bunch of knuckle dragging aviators to update one iPad is hard enough, let alone two.  I understand the need for redundancy in case one overheats but makes way more sense to check out a spare from the ops desk.  I still don't understand why the SPO has to approve iPads unless it's actually plugging in to the jet.  ACC had a nice thing going with the Acronis app for pubs, but that's been shut down due to "security concerns" from what I understand.  There's too many cooks in the kitchen on this, and it's only going to get worse as they try to make a one size fits all solution.

Plugging into the jet or to something else (per, stratus Puck, etc) is Phase 2.  Right now it's a matter of risk acceptance for both maneuvering (will the knee board holding the projectile do its job) and ejection (same).  And the baseline question of - can the pilot do his or her job safely without paper.  There's a whole Airworthiness process and human factors evaluation that each new widget on an aircraft has to go through before getting approved.  Now that I work at a SPO I am slowly starting to understand this side of the effort to keep the aircraft in the air and mission effective.

I'm unsure about the status of Acronis, I hadn't heard anything definite, but I have been out of the office for most of Nov so maybe it did get shut down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plugging into the jet or to something else (per, stratus Puck, etc) is Phase 2.  Right now it's a matter of risk acceptance for both maneuvering (will the knee board holding the projectile do its job) and ejection (same).  And the baseline question of - can the pilot do his or her job safely without paper.  There's a whole Airworthiness process and human factors evaluation that each new widget on an aircraft has to go through before getting approved.  Now that I work at a SPO I am slowly starting to understand this side of the effort to keep the aircraft in the air and mission effective.
I'm unsure about the status of Acronis, I hadn't heard anything definite, but I have been out of the office for most of Nov so maybe it did get shut down.


It’s ok. They won’t be able to fly 1 Jan 2020 anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AZwildcat said:

Getting a bunch of knuckle dragging aviators to update one iPad is hard enough, let alone two.  I understand the need for redundancy in case one overheats but makes way more sense to check out a spare from the ops desk. 

My understanding is that our spare iPad will be assigned to each jet and kept at the ops desk.  1COs will ensure they're charged and kept up to date an handed out at step.  I could be off on that, my discussion with OGV was a few drinks in before a roll call.  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stract said:

ACC bought 9,000 ipad minis, to issue two per pilot.  I know the F-16 checklists are now EFB-friendly, but still waiting on the SPO to issue the safe to fly MFR to ACC.  That should happen before the end of the year.  The 1067 mentioned that NGA a as planning to stop producing paper FLIP in the FY19 timeframe.  So if your community isn't paperless yet, it'll be forced that way before long.  Better to be prepared than keep heads in the sand.

I find the EFB to be good for charts, plates, and the expanded TOs, but shit for actual flying checklists. Kneeboard ref checklists or paper -1 CL probably shouldn’t go away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, ThreeHoler said:

 


It’s ok. They won’t be able to fly 1 Jan 2020 anyway...

 

Not true.  ADS-B out is coming to the F-16, SPO has been working if for a while.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

I find the EFB to be good for charts, plates, and the expanded TOs, but shit for actual flying checklists. Kneeboard ref checklists or paper -1 CL probably shouldn’t go away. 

That decision is above my pay grade.  But, adding links to a PDF is definitely polishing a turd.  USAF needs to throw $$ at developing better ways for aircrew to interact with their checklist in parallel so that the day paper dies we're ready with a suitable replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't fly with a CDU in the Viper (yet), but how much processing power and storage would it take to handle some PDFs?

I'm not smart on this stuff, but with the current technology in my jet and my cell phone, this shit has to be pretty simple to implement. And then maintenance can update the pubs or checklist overnight when they key Link 16 anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kenny Powers said:

I don't fly with a CDU in the Viper (yet), but how much processing power and storage would it take to handle some PDFs?

I'm not smart on this stuff, but with the current technology in my jet and my cell phone, this shit has to be pretty simple to implement. And then maintenance can update the pubs or checklist overnight when they key Link 16 anyways.

Probably. But when Boeing/LockMart/Northrop charges you $100 mil and 3 years for what an iPad can do in $600/2 months, the calculus changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be easy to put checklists or approach plates in the CDU for the Viper as a PDF, but the problem is the interface.  Since it's not a touch screen and you scroll down through pages via buttons on the side, there's no way to skip down 50 pages to get to a critical checklist I need right now.  A software change might be able to make approach plates user friendly on the CDU, but I just don't see digging through the CDU with an EP looking for a checklist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Kenny Powers said:

Why don't we just make this a function of the CDU? Pubs, checklist, etc., and fly with paper or iPad as a backup?

 

3 hours ago, Breckey said:

Because some CDUs are still using 386 processors through a 1553 databus

 

1 hour ago, magnetfreezer said:

Probably. But when Boeing/LockMart/Northrop charges you $100 mil and 3 years for what an iPad can do in $600/2 months, the calculus changes.

Shack on this one magnetfreezer. Different airframe, but the way Boeing has hamfisted our upgrade strung out over 10 years and $1B to get our jet to the mid-1990s, no fing way I want approach plates and checklists tied down to the system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/22/2017 at 7:19 PM, SocialD said:

My understanding is that our spare iPad will be assigned to each jet and kept at the ops desk.  1COs will ensure they're charged and kept up to date an handed out at step.  I could be off on that, my discussion with OGV was a few drinks in before a roll call.  

Yeah I think that makes the most sense and that's what units are going to do.  ACC's guidance is they will be individually issued to aircrew for "security" reasons, but the way i see it you get issued a spare at the ops desk, it's yours for an hour, then you turn it back in.  Simple.

21 hours ago, stract said:

Not true.  ADS-B out is coming to the F-16, SPO has been working if for a while.  

Get this...T-38A is getting ADS-B out by way of a new IFF system.  Integral part of ADS-B out is the jet knowing where it is, so there will a GPS receiver installed in the nose.  What does it do for you?  Nothing.  Raytheon proprietary, can't tap into it, won't tell you where you are, can't use it for navigation...because it wasn't in the contract. But hey you'll have ADS-B out so everyone except you will know where you are.  Fantastic.

21 hours ago, stract said:

That decision is above my pay grade.  But, adding links to a PDF is definitely polishing a turd.  USAF needs to throw $$ at developing better ways for aircrew to interact with their checklist in parallel so that the day paper dies we're ready with a suitable replacement.

Yeah but that won't happen.  A polished turd is better than a turd at this point.  Randolph developed a pretty good model for an integrated checklist/in-flight guide PDF with touch buttons to navigate around.  Pay a civilian to update it for you every time a change comes out, easy enough.  That said, paper checklists aren't going to die nearly as soon as FLIP. 

9 hours ago, Smokin said:

It would be easy to put checklists or approach plates in the CDU for the Viper as a PDF, but the problem is the interface.  Since it's not a touch screen and you scroll down through pages via buttons on the side, there's no way to skip down 50 pages to get to a critical checklist I need right now.  A software change might be able to make approach plates user friendly on the CDU, but I just don't see digging through the CDU with an EP looking for a checklist.

The U-2 has an EFA for the pilot's checklists built in to the avionics processor.  Looks like the instruction manual for the Oregon Trail video game.  Probably worse actually.  It's a human factors dumpster fire. To get to the next page you press the "up" rocker button and not the "down" rocker button...why?  Because engineers built it and in their minds, you go up in page number so that should be the up button.  I guess no one asked a pilot.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, AZwildcat said:

Get this...T-38A is getting ADS-B out by way of a new IFF system.  Integral part of ADS-B out is the jet knowing where it is, so there will a GPS receiver installed in the nose.  What does it do for you?  Nothing.  Raytheon proprietary, can't tap into it, won't tell you where you are, can't use it for navigation...because it wasn't in the contract. But hey you'll have ADS-B out so everyone except you will know where you are.  Fantastic.

Hopefully SPOs fix the ADS-B implementation to avoid things like this... https://theaviationist.com/2017/07/20/here-is-the-route-a-u-s-rq-4-global-hawk-drone-is-currently-flying-during-a-surveillance-mission-over-the-black-sea-and-ukraine/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×