To EFB, or not to EFB; or is it a GPS you want?
28 Jun 16
28 Jun 16
According to Wikipedia (must be true then) ‘an electronic flight bag (EFB) is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper. It is a general purpose computing platform intended to reduce, or replace, paper-based reference material….’ etc. etc.
As for GPS clearly the acronym refers to the various space based navigation systems that are currently orbiting the earth, however, it is also more commonly used to describe the hand-held or built-in devices we have in our cars, on our boats (I wish) and now in aircraft.
So which is Inzpire’s GECO (Air) tablet? Well I would argue it is both and neither! If you are an operator of commercial or general aviation aircraft then there are a multitude of excellent devices on sale, at a very reasonable price, that claim to be one of the above. Some even do a bit of both. However, these devices generally fall far short of fulfilling the demanding needs of the military user operating in a harsh and dynamic environment.
Inzpire’s GECO on the other hand is designed specifically for the tactical military user, it has a GPS, a moving map and is undoubtedly an excellent, and fully integrated, EFB. But it is also what we call a ‘Mission System’ that will both complement and enhance your aircraft’s on-board mission system. Surely this is just marketing hype – I hear you saying to yourself, not so quick if you please. Before deciding what type of clever COTS device and or ‘app’ you are going to buy you should ask your potential supplier a few of the following questions and see what their answer is:
• Is the software designed for the military user or is it designed for a Cessna operator; can it use the same maps as the rest of your military platforms and joint users; can it store, geo tag and integrate the latest imagery gathered by Intelligence?
• Will you have full control of the data on your device; can you load any data you want or is it proprietary?
• Can you integrate all of your documents, including Flight Check Lists with instant ‘swipe’ access?
• Is the hardware certified for the harsh environment of a tactical helicopter or fighter aircraft; will it explode if decompressed at high altitude; can it withstand +9g/-3g, vibration, dust and water ingress?
• Can the software quickly display threat systems, calculate intervisibility and dynamic engagement zones?
• Can their software integrate the performance calculations (with a safety case) required to safely operate your many different combat platforms?
• Does their device have the security accreditation to hold classified data and operate in a classified environment; will you have control of the device configuration?
• What happens when you don’t have 3G or 4G, in a combat zone for example?
• Can their device be used to plan, rehearse, brief, execute, record and debrief the mission?
• Can their device display and manage third party systems such as AIS, TCAS and targeting pods?
• Is their device combat proven on multiple helicopter and fighter platforms?
If the answer to any of the above (and many more difficult questions) is ‘no’ then you probably need GECO! Come and see us at the Farnborough International Airshow for a demonstration of this amazing piece of kit.
Phil joins us as a principal training consultant having spent 20 years as a training specialist in the MOD.
Our team are here to help. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.