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U.S. Air Force Will Save $50M With iPad Electronic Flight Bags

The U.S. Air Force has announced plans to buy up to 18,000 Apple iPads after a six-month trial at Little Rock Air Force Base. According The Street, Apple will spend $9.36 million to give pilots electronic flight bags. ( और अधिक...

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James Bockholt 4
I replaced a $1,050 annual paper chart subscription, with a $150 annual subscription from ForeFlight on my iPad that does way more, and provides the same charts on my iPhone as well for a back up!
Burke Files 1
Several of my clients are private pilots and I have sat and watched them just whip out the iPad and tap away at a screen and file a flight plan, get weather reports, order fuel and food, arrive 20 min later to have the fuel on board, the food waiting and off they go. Ronald Reagan said it best "We live in a world lit by lightening."
chalet 3
RobSJC you are dreaming, iPads made in the US or no deal, hell they would cost anywhere from 3 to 5 times more than the ones made in China.
Burke Files 3
They are truly an amazing piece of technology. I have seen many pilots using them for upto date weather radar and forecasts before they even get into the aircraft. Also I noticed it is not a Windows product... (Be nice i use both and like and dislike both for different reasons) - but just saying - no cold shut down and rebooting at 30,000 ft.
Jerry Morris 3
It's a good thing. Airlines and General Aviation pilots world wide have been using it for some time. It's lighter, easier to update and certainly easier to locate information. And it WILL save dollars.
There are not many informed comments on this subject on this Forum.
Jorge Galrito 4
It's definitely a good thing. Only the paranoids don't like it.
Fuel savings, paper savings, less human error on updating the traditional paper charts, etc.
pfp217 1
A friend and I just finished a 1400nm cross country in a Cherokee. He with his Fore Flight equipped I-Pad... me and my paper charts of which I had to buy at several locations (the ones that still had them at all)....

Needless to say my outlook on the electronic version has changed a bit.. I'm not sure if it was a the "can you take the airplane, I need to refold my chart", or the point click "oh fuel at KXXX is $5.75, lets go there".

While I still pride myself on my plotter and E6b skills, I saw the light on that flight!!!
joel wiley 1
Hard to get a battery change when it crumps at FL 15. A few pieces of paper might come in handy.
skylab72 0
Actually you can charge it off the acft electrics, and a piggy-back spare battery at 2/3 the weight of the iPad will run it 4x longer... You pay your money you make your choice.
joel wiley 2
my point was not simply a discharged battery, but a failed one- dead and unrechargable. In that case the unit might be inoperable. Everything breaks as some point. The question I meant to raise was what happens when it breaks in flight?
skylab72 1
Ahh So, the old MTBF issue. USAF familiar with that one. Transport aircrews each carry kit, and back each other up. I could not tell from this article if SOTI spec'd the protocol this way, but on one system I worked on we had the "mobile device" life cycle tracked by SerNo and preemptively replaced at first service after 3rd standard-deviation MTBF flight. Basically, if the Aircrew is happy I'm happy...
joel wiley 1
Well, with two on board, simultaneous failures are unlikely. There is no such thing as zero probability, but this might try to push the envelop. (And if there's an FE on board with one....)
skylab72 1
skylab72 1
The futility of the made-in-USA rants aside, the platform bigotry is equally goofy. The firm (SOTI) the USAF retained for system engineering of these devices (included in the published price, still under retail) has profitable segments in all four major mobile device architectures. Should the AF have had requirements better served by another platform, SOTI would have happily provided that solution.
Dan Newcomb 1
In April I flew from California to Florida and back in a T-34 with a $500 iPad strapped to my leg using ForeFlight and the Stratus system. It is in an over used word “awesome”.
I thought my crew was fleecing me for new toys when they convinced me they had to have iPads. I've never flown without two or three since. We recently added Stratus. I used to say I wish we could do this or wish they'd add that to the avionics. In the past few years, the technology has come out so fast that I can't even dream up the next thing before we have it. Glad our Air Force is modernizing while their commander is still walking around with a Blackberry on his belt.
What's the Commander's Blackberry have to do with the Air Force's ipads???
Anthony Kirkham 1
That is a really useful piece of kit in such a weight conscious occupation.
Kenneth Schmidt 1
I like the idea, locked out iPads to get crews into a modern age of document management. I did it for years on a laptop, but those are now against DOT(FRA) regulations.

Mainstream devices (even if they are the evil Apple), are a far better bet than some off-branded custom hardware.
We had an $80,000 day a couple months ago due to dual display failure. That's a lot for a system that's not 1/20th as powerful as an iPad.
josh homer 0
There are much better and cheaper tablets on the market. Nexus tablets are way better. Ipads are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Pay all of that extra money ONLY for the branding of being "cool."
Kal Biro 1
Obviously the Nexus tablets did not meet the specs.
josh homer 1
Ipad: $499-$929, 9.7 inch display, 1gb RAM, crappy A6X processor, 16-128gb storage, NO USB, Video out with an extra $40 adapter

Nexus: $399-$499, 10.1 inch display, 2gb RAM, Exynos 5250 processor, 16-32 gb storage, HAS USB, micro HDMI video out.

Nexus is far superior, and cheaper. Apple is a waste of my taxpayer money.
joel wiley 1
You mighit want to check the source dfrom which this squawk derived. Apple order only one of many platforms being used by USAF. This tool worked for this task. No need to reignite the platform sectarian wars. IMHO
skylab72 0
USAF did not pay retail, and by what criteria is the A6X "crappy"? Be specific, I suspect your understanding of microprocessor architecture leaves you in the 'fanboy' category. I've never had a need for HDMI on a flight deck.
Kal Biro 0
Nice specs! Unfortunately the Air Force did not use your specifications. If you think it is a waste of your taxpayer money then maybe you should talk to your Congressman/woman.
Ric Wernicke 0
I don't like it. The US Air Force should not be using products made in a foreign country in the cockpit of military aircraft. Too easy to put spy gear in the device.

I would not want to rely on a consumer product in the aircraft either. Not to stifle progress but they should be made rad hard, tough, hermetic, with back-ups especially for the battery, vibration and acceleration resistant, and operate at any altitude with temperature ratings similar to military semiconductors.
siriusloon 6
So what about all the desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones already in use by DoD? How many of them were built in the U.S.?
DAMN YOU!!!! DAMN YOU AND ALL YOUR FACTS......Now, can I get that missile guidance program at the App Store or do I download it from General Dynamics website?
bentwing60 4
Hate to bash your rant Ric, but IPAD's are pretty much proven technology for EFBs and you won't find a U.S manufactured tablet anywhere, that I am aware of. Enlighten me? At any rate, AF transport flying is much akin to corporate or airline flying, in the real world. It's an airplane. As for fighter types, I would think the organization represented by an EFB would beat the hell out of chasing DOD flip charts around the cockpit. Just my thoughts, as I fly with a couple of ex AF guys who seem pretty human to me. And 18,000 units to Apple is a drop in the bucket, so to speak.
Mark Lansdell 2
I'm not sure the boots the crew are wearing are made in the U.S.A.. I doubt seriously the flight suits are made here. And I would lay down a bet that the thousands of computers and technical hardware that is used by the Air Force and the rest of the Pentagon subsidiaries aren't made here either. I won't go into all the stuff through out the cockpit like GPS, VOR receivers, down to the mil spec. wire.

IPads are worth it for the cockpit clutter alone.
Jorge Galrito 0
Yes, better not use an iPad, then, because the iPad assembled in the USA is not going to happen.
Those 18000 iPads the air force will buy represent 1/16 of the iPads sold on the first day.
You think Apple will change the way things are done and risk decreasing the millions of iPads they sell worldwide every week just because of air force!? Sooner we'll see Apple buying US military bases.
Clement -2
Lets take ANOTHER look here ... 18,000 pieces .. for a 6 MONTH TRIAL ?? wasting tax payers money, playing games or what's going on here .. why not cut it back to 100 pieces ... make a survey, consult with the FAA, already having approved use in commercial aircraft .. then TRY to justify 17,900 additional units and REQUIRE they ALL be made in the USA or NO DEAL
siriusloon 4
They've already had a six-month trial. It's right there in the first sentence above.
Jorge Galrito 2
Yes, Apple will change everything just for Air Force.
Apple is an international company that sells worldwide. Get over it.
chalet 2
joel wiley 2
Order placed after a 6 mo trial. Unit cost $520, but it doesn't say it includes apps. Doubt you'll find them in Apple app store for $2.99. Spot on with Made in America. How much many strategic components of our military hardware are going to foreign outsources? Military confrontation with our suppliers is double plus ungood.
Zachary Colescott 0
That's a nice little boost to Apple's bottom line...
Mike Pantelogianis 0
Why does the US government want to buy from a company that keeps their money out of the country because they don't want to pay income tax?
Jorge Galrito -2
Great, now they buy more missiles and bomb more countries a year.
Jojm Wilson -2
I been using in china for 2 years, the FAA been in china, watching the studies 2 years ago. Then again never much of them. Also you need better pilots, iPad not going to stop pilots flying into mountains , all over fly the runway.


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