The Air Force Air Mobility Command recently signed a $9.36 million contract to buy as many as 18,000 iPads for pilots navigators and trainers, reducing the amount of weight and bulk of on-board flight bags.
The tablets are part of a new Electronic Flight Bag program aimed at replacing the heavy flight manuals and booklets carried by the Air Force. It also reduces the man hours needed to prepare the flight bags.
“So, by using a tablet computer, now all of this information is electronic and updating it is as easy as downloading the updates,” said Lt. Col. Erin Meinders, the director of operations for the 3rd AS, according to the Department of Defense’s Science blog. “And we also won’t need to take someone away from his or her regular duty to update the hard copy manuals.”
A lighter bag will also reduce the weight of the air craft, saving on fuel efficiency, said DOD of the program which is currently in the testing phase.
“With limited space in the cockpit and the amount of paper that each crew has to manage, it can quickly become controlled chaos,” said Maj. Pete Brichenough, who heads AMC’s EFB test. “An electronic flight bag could solve this issue by putting all information in one place to be recalled and updated almost immediately.”