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Connectivity & Data Feature Stories

Power Outlets in the Flight Deck are Supporting Electronic Flight Bags

Astronics has worked with multiple airlines recently to retrofit existing aircraft by installing and certifying power outlets for pilot use in the flight deck. These outlets support the use of tablet devices, usually iPads, which pilots are increasingly using as electronic flight bags, or EFBs. The EFBs host a variety of real-time applications that aid pilots during flight and with airport approaches, gate details, and other important information.  Real-time device usage, of course, can drain batteries quickly. The NBAA has a good tutorial on the function of these portable EFBs.

Pilots often take these devices from flight to flight with no time to charge in between. Like the passengers waiting for their flight, sitting on the floor plugged into a local wall outlet, pilots have been known to charge their devices in the galleys or other locations. Now, putting power outlets in the flight deck ensures that pilots stay powered and connected to their important information at all times, for the safety and security of all passengers and crew.

Astronics offers its EmPower® outlet solutions for use in flight decks in a variety of outlet types – 110VAC/USB and USB only. These units recently received Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for retrofit installations on multiple Boeing aircraft types. At least 600 aircraft have already been outfitted with these outlets to date.

According to Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC, “We were honored to be selected by several airlines to create this retrofit solution for flight deck power. Our global experience in certification services is helping these airlines quickly provide a unified flight deck power experience across their entire fleets, which offers seamless convenience for their crews.”

With EmPower systems already a standard for passenger and crew power in the cabin, implementing an EmPower solution is a flight-proven way to create consistency within a fleet.

More STCs for this technology for additional aircraft types are on the horizon. We invite you to see the latest developments in flight deck power.