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  (Source: cultofmac.com)
It will save $5.7 million annually

The U.S. Air Force is making use of iPads instead of heavy flight manuals, and it's saving quite a bit of money in doing so. 

The Air Force said it would save over $50 million in the next 10 years thanks to its recent deployment of iPads. The iPads eliminate the need to print thousands of flights manuals on paper, which proves to be heavy on planes. 

According to Major Brian Moritz, Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) program manager, removing all of the paper alone results in $750,000 in fuel savings annually (since the extra weight requires extra fuel). Weight varies from 250 pounds in a four-person C-17 up to 490 pounds in a C-5 with 10 crewmembers. 

Add this to print and distribution costs, and Moritz said the Air Force is saving $5.7 million per year with the iPads. This equates to over $50 million in a 10-year period. 

The Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC) scored a $9.36 million contract to deploy 18,000 iPads. Today, AMC aircrews are using about 16,000 of those iPads while the other 2,000 are being distributed amongst other Air Force units. 

Aside from just cost savings, the iPads also prove to be helpful in finding information quickly. The keyword search alone helps pilots work more efficiently in emergency situations instead of searching through dense manuals. 

Apple has been working its way into the military through more than just iPads, though (and to more branches than just the Air Force). In March of this year, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) planned to purchase 650,000 iOS devices. This included 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod Touches, and over 20,000 iPhones.

The purchase was to replace old BlackBerry handsets. 

Earlier this month, the DOD approved the use of Samsung smartphones running a secure version of Android called Knox. Other versions of Android and Apple's iOS are currently awaiting approval as well. These decisions are expected to be made by the end of May. 

Source: The Street



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RE: or
By Motoman on 5/17/2013 12:59:03 PM , Rating: 5
...actually, I was thinking even "lower" than that - I would think for the dedicated purpose of flight manuals - and granted battery life too - I'd opt for an e-ink reader of some kind.

Think of all the money they could save with a true reader device - that would work better for the intended purpose (no glare), be lighter, and have much better battery life too.


RE: or
By karimtemple on 5/17/2013 1:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly what I was thinking.


RE: or
By rpsgc on 5/17/2013 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly.

If it's only for manuals, why would they need a full-fledged tablet instead of a e-book reader?

Lower cost + greater battery life.


RE: or
By protomech on 5/17/2013 1:52:26 PM , Rating: 3
"The device's 9.7-inch display, its user interface, and the ability to access information rapidly were all key selling points, according to Moritz."

The Kindle is pretty fantastic for reading through sequential, reflowable text.

It's not good at:
* quickly looking up and jumping between random pages within a manual
* displaying full-page documents that cannot be reflowed
* displaying dense information
* displaying color information


RE: or
By karimtemple on 5/17/2013 2:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
I should've known to think about color with the Air Force. When I joined the Marine Corps I tested color blind and they said "you can join just fine, but you can't fly."


RE: or
By Manch on 5/20/2013 2:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
Has nothing to do with reading manuals lol. Plenty of them are B&W. If you're colorblind you cant read the runway lights or a lot of the lights on the control boards/dials, etc in the cockpit properly.


RE: or
By Scannall on 5/17/2013 1:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
And e-reader isn't enough. I use ForeFlight. http://foreflight.com/

I don't know of any Android app that is even close to being as good.

And I'm sure the Air Force has even nicer software.


RE: or
By kmmatney on 5/17/2013 1:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
It looks like they need color, and color e-readers are just barely coming out now. It will be a long time before they are ready, and then they would still need to be powerful enough for this application. The one thing about the iPad - it's pretty damn heavy.


RE: or
By karimtemple on 5/17/2013 2:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't think about color. That's an excellent point.


RE: or
By kleinma on 5/17/2013 2:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nook Color has been out since 2010.


RE: or
By geddarkstorm on 5/17/2013 5:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
That's my tablet, and actually it's just a nice IPS screen, no e-ink involved unfortunatel.


RE: or
By BRB29 on 5/17/2013 2:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Angry bird won't work on an ereader


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