Emirates Airlines gets tough

Emirates Airlines has purchased from Al-Futtaim Panatech, Panasonic’s CF-18 range of Toughbook laptops for the airline’s new A340 fleet. The new order expands the airline’s existing base of 60 industrial strength tablet PCs.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  June 12, 2004

Emirates Airlines has purchased from Al-Futtaim Panatech, Panasonic’s CF-18 range of ‘Toughbook’ laptops for the airline’s new A340 fleet. The new order expands the airline’s existing 60 tough books. Priced at US$3400, the Toughbook CF-18 is powered by an ultra low voltage (ULV) Pentium M processor 900M/Hz, and has a memory of 256MB SDRAM expandable to 768MB. The two-kilo notebook and offers advanced features usually associated with full-size notebooks, including a writable touch screen, integrated wide area wireless and WLAN. Panasonic claims the toughbook's rugged magnesium shock-mounted rugged alloy case can fall of up to three feet on the concrete with no damage and withstand liquid spills as well. The CF-18 is also RTCA/DO-160D (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) certified for use on board aircraft under 115V, 400Hz power input conditions, thus complying with international aviation standards. “We had earlier supplied the airline with more than 60 units of the CF-27 range, which were well appreciated for their functionality and efficiency, and this has prompted them to upgrade to the new CF-18 series. The CF-18 is our answer to the need for rugged laptops that can be used by engineers, pilots and for other mission critical operations,” says Sam Turel, general manager, Al-Futtaim Panatech. To ensure compliance with the airline’s stringent standards, Panasonic has strengthened the CF-18’s functionality by developing installing a 400hz AC adaptor. The laptop is loaded with mission critical software enabling pilots to access information like aircraft. The cockpit is often flooded with bright sunlight, making it difficult to view a computer screen, however the CF-18’s thin-glass display is fitted with trans-reflective technology that can block out excess sunlight The HDD (hard disk drive) can be removed enabling easy and frequent data transfer. The laptop’s touch screen functionality, removable HDD and easy conversion to a tablet PC format are also added advantages. The laptop’s lithium iron battery promises a runtime of over six hours making it ideal during long-haul flights or delays says the vendor. “With this initial order, we intend to work towards developing comprehensive solutions for the airline industry including extending the laptop’s use through connectivity to other equipment for added cockpit security,” explains Mohammed Omer, manager, office automation and systems communication, Al-Futtaim Panatech.

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