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Microsoft Surface 2 arrives in Delta cockpits

Microsoft’s Surface 2 tablet has scored a significant contract with Delta agreeing to provide 11,000 of its pilots with the device in order to cut down on traditional resources.

The device will be given to pilots to initially be used as an electronic flight bag and replace the hefty paper-based kits made up of navigational charts, and aircraft operating and reference manuals that can weigh as much as 17kg.

"This intuitive device puts key information at our pilots' fingertips right when they need it. By eliminating paper, we'll reduce clutter and minimize time spent looking for flight information, allowing our pilots the opportunity to develop greater situational awareness in the air and on the ground,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, Delta's senior vice president – Flight Operations.

Pilots flying the Boeing 757 and 767 fleets will be the first to benefit from the devices with the remainder of the company’s planes expected to be paperless by the end of 2014.

Each Surface 2 will run Windows RT 8.1 and give pilots access to everything they need to successfully fly the plane and it’s estimated the move will cut fuel and associated costs to the tune of $13 million [£8 million] per year.

FliteDeck Pro, developed by Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, will be used to access digital flight information with real-life information, such as charts and navigation utilities, just the touch of the screen away.

A spokesperson from Delta told the BBC that crew will be able to run personal applications on the tablets just so long as a separate personal profile is used.

The tablet was chosen by Delta due to “its ease of integration into existing IT systems as well as a training and communications programs”.

The Microsoft Surface 2 tablet was unveiled a little over a week ago and is dubbed by Microsoft as “the most productive tablet for personal use”. It’s lighter, quicker and thinner than its predecessor and consumers can pre order one now with prices starting at £359 and ranging up to £439 depending on the storage capacity.