A number of airlines have adopted iPads for their electronic flight bags (EFBs) as a way of cutting down on weight, and now airplane manufacturer Airbus is helping further lighten the load by offering apps for tablet-toting pilots. The "FlySmart with Airbus" series of apps will let pilots crunch performance calculations, as well as check up on Airbus' flight manuals without having to carry around a heavy book, essentially serving as an alternative to the current PC-based EFB software. The company says that the apps will be be available "soon" from the App Store — though you'll need to be an Airbus customer to obtain the necessary licenses.

"By combining our EFB content with the world's most versatile mobile digital device, the iPad, airline pilots will be able to optimise aircraft performance in the palm of their hand, while obtaining savings in cost, weight, and time," said Airbus' Didier Lux. In addition to developing the apps, Airbus is now also adopting the iPad as a part of its Flight Test and Training Department, which will be using Apple's tablet as "standard practice from now on."

Thanks, Sascha!