Anyone who\u2019s visited a commercial airplane cockpit will tell you there\u2019s no lack of electronics on the flight deck. But there\u2019s usually a whole lot of paper in there, too. That 77-pound black briefcase you saw the pilot lug up the gangway didn\u2019t contain the copy of War and Peace he intends to read over Omaha: It\u2019s stuffed with navigational charts, weight and balance data, and operating manuals.Some airlines are replacing many of these paper-based processes with electronic flight bag (EFB) technology. JetBlue made a splash in 2000 when it equipped its pilots and first officers with laptops to access electronic flight manuals and make preflight load and balance calculations that it said would not only reduce the airline\u2019s printing costs but also save 4,800 man-hours a year.\u201cThe typical airline is operating hundreds, if not thousands, of flights a day. That\u2019s a lot of paper, so there\u2019s a definite cost and environmental benefit to the technology,\u201d says Henry Harteveldt, vice president of travel research for Forrester. \u201cThere\u2019s also immediacy,\u201d so pilots always have updated data, he says. FedEx has used EFBs since 1991, but most commercial airlines couldn\u2019t justify the technology due to implementation costs and communications infrastructure challenges. Today, more passenger airlines are getting on board.JetBlue\u2019s laptops, considered Class 1 EFBs by the Federal Aviation Administration, are just like yours\u2014they have to be stowed at times. Virgin America (see \u201cCheap Frills,\u201d Page 60) plans to take off next year with Class 2 EFBs, which mount in the cockpit of its Airbus A320s, for use at any altitude. The Class 2 option will be less costly long-term than equipping every pilot with his own laptop, says Virgin America\u2019s VP and chief pilot, Joe Houghton, and will let pilots access navigational charts in flight.The ultimate goal is a nearly paperless flight deck except for one checklist. Houghton says that will increase efficiency, reduce costs and raise the quality of life for pilots\u2014they\u2019ll have a free hand to carry a change of clothes for dinner or a good book.