The Project: Arm pilots with Internet-linked laptops to replace paper manuals and allow them to handle pre-flight calculations.

The Payoff: Helps shave flight times, cutting operating costs and improving customer satisfaction.

JetBlue Airways (JBLU ) likes to keep things simple -- whether in its easy-to-understand low fares or its bare-bones food service. It's the same with technology. JetBlue's most powerful tech innovation is the "paperless cockpit," which other airlines have yet to match. Equipped with laptops, more than 700 pilots have ready Web access to flight manuals that are constantly updated at headquarters. Pilots can adjust speedily to changing conditions -- and get off the ground quickly. That helps keep operating costs among the lowest in the industry and keeps customers coming back. In the struggling airline business, that's a winning combo.

By Wendy Zellner

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.