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Electronic Flight Bag – EFB

Electronic Flight Bag - EFBElectronic Flight Bag – EFB – An electronic display system intended primarily for cockpit/flightdeck or cabin use. Electronic Flight Bag devices can display a variety of aviation data such as moving maps, airport diagrams, and datalink weather or perform basic calculations such as performance data and  fuel calculations. In the past, some of these functions were traditionally accomplished using paper references or were based on data provided to the flightcrew by an airline’s “flight dispatch” function. The scope of the Electronic Flight Bag system functionality may also include various other hosted databases and applications. Physical Electronic Flight Bag displays may use various technologies, formats, and forms of communication. These devices are sometimes referred to as auxiliary performance computers (APC) or laptop auxiliary performance computers (LAPC).

Electronic Flight Bag devices can display a variety of aviation data or perform basic calculations such as performance data and fuel calculations. EFBs come in a variety of forms, capabilities, and restrictions.

The FAA categorizes Electronic Flight Bags in three classes. Class 1 and Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag systems are both based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems and both are considered to be personal electronic devices (PED). Also, both are portable (not permanently installed in the aircraft). The difference between Class 1 and Class 2 is primarily derived from how they are mounted in the aircraft and what must be approved.

A Class 1 system is not attached to an aircraft mounting device, aircraft primary power supply, or A Class 1 system is not attached to an aircraftmounting device, aircraft primary power supply, or data connectivity. Class 1 EFB systems can be used both on the ground and during flight, but must be stowed for takeoff and landing. They are limited to providing supplemental information and cannot replace any required system or equipment. A Class 1 Electronic Flight Bag may be connected to aircraft power through a certified power source to operate the EFB and recharge its  batteries. A Class 1 EFB can display tabular data, such as performance tables, checklists, and the pilot operating handbook (POH).

A Class 3 EFB system is installed equipment that, with exceptions for user-modifiable software used to host certain kinds of applications, requires a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or certification design approval as part of the aircraft equipment.

A Class 2 EFB system can be attached to a structural-mounting bracket to ensure that it does not interfere with other aircraft systems. Though considered a PED, the use of a structural-mounting bracket made only for that device means that a logbook entry is required to remove a Class 2 EFB from the aircraft. A Class 2 system can be connected to aircraft power and to a certified data connection in order to exchange data with aircraft systems and make interactive performance calculations. In addition, a Class 2 EFB can be used to compute weight–and-balance information as well as take off and- landing V-speeds. It can also provide flight critical data, such as navigation charts. Since it is not necessarily stowed for takeoff and landing, a pilot can also use the Class 2 EFB to display departure, arrival, and approach charts.

A Class 3 EFB system is installed equipment that, with exceptions for user-modifiable software used to host certain kinds of applications, requires a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or certification design approval as part of the aircraft equipment.

Class 3 EFB systems, which are the most capable, require approvals. A Class 3 EFB system is installed equipment that, with exceptions for user-modifiable software used to host certain kinds of applications, requires a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or certification design approval as part of the aircraft equipment. It is also subject to certification requirements that enable additional applications and functions.

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