After receiving approval from the FAA, the U.S. Air Force plans to save more than $50 million in ten years by employing 18,000 lightweight iPads instead of heavy paper flight manuals. This will lead to a $750,000 annual saving on fuel alone.
According the a spokesman for the Air Force Mobility Command, the military service will no longer have to print all those flight manuals for each aircraft pilot. In this way, they will save an amount of $5 million per year. Moreover, the whole amount of paper saved within the period of 10 year can easily reach the limit of 90 pounds per aircraft.
In the same time, the welcomed change regarding the replacement of the paper manuals with iPads can limit the need for each crewmember to carry a 30 to 40 pound paper file. As it was stated in previous press releases, airplane pilots accused severe back pains when carrying that amount of paper on each flight.
The paper to iPad switch proved to be very effective, and it allowed the company to cut up to 490 pounds in weight from a C-5 Aircraft. The decision to switch to iPads instead of the normal paper bags cost Air Force more than $9 million. The military service required 18,000 iPads units for use in the military arm’s cargo aircraft.
At it was expected, the 32-GB Wi-Fi –only version of Apple’s touch screen tablet was purchased with bulk discount from Apple while the prices reached $520 per unit. The Air Force purchased about 16,000 third-generation iPad with Retina display units, which are already in use by AMC crew. The remaining 2.000 units will be used by other Air Force units around the country.
Last year, American Airlines became the first commercial airliner to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval to use Apple’s iPad as an electronic electric bag. The company believes that the move from paper to electronic flight bags could save the company millions in dollars. Now, the U.S Military joins the American Airlines. This change will save millions of dollars, and it will also prevent back injuries among the American pilots.
Along with the adoption of iPads by the U.S Air Force, the Pentagon decided to approve all Apple devices running iOS 6 for use on military networks. This decision opened a new path for the big Cupertino-based company to compete against Samsung and Blackberry for U.S. military contracts.