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US Air Force expects to save $50M with use of 18K Apple iPads

post #1 of 38
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The purchase of 18,000 iPads for use as electronic flight bags has set the stage for the U.S. Air Force to save more than $50 million over the next 10 years.

Air Force
Apple iPad in use by the Air Force Air Mobility Command. Photo credit: James Rogers of The Street.


Using lightweight iPads instead of heavy paper flight manuals will amount to $750,000 annual savings on fuel alone, a spokesman for the Air Force's Air Mobility Command said in an interview with James Rogers of The Street. And the AMC will no longer have to print those flight manuals either, which will save a whopping $5 million per year.

Major Brian Moritz, manager of the AMC's electronic flight bag program, said the Air Force expects Apple's iPad to help save $5.7 million per year, which would result in savings "well over $50 million" over the next 10 years.

"We're saving about 90 pounds of paper per aircraft and limiting the need for each crew member to carry a 30 to 40 pound paper file," Moritz said. "It adds up to quite a lot of weight in paper."

Rogers was embedded recently with the U.S. Air Force and got to see Apple's iPad in action. He revealed that the switch from paper manuals to the iPad could cut up to 490 pounds in weight from a C-5 aircraft.

The Air Force spent $9.36 million a year ago on 18,000 iPad units for use in the military arm's cargo aircraft. The 32-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only version of Apple's touchscreen tablet was purchased with bulk discount from Apple, at a price of around $520 per unit.

About 16,000 third-generation iPad with Retina display units are now in use by AMC crew, according to Rogers. The remaining 2,000 units are said to have been deployed across other Air Force units.

The U.S. military joins American Airlines, which last year became the first commercial airliner to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval to use Apple's iPad as an electronic flight bag. That switch is also expected to save American millions of dollars, and could even help prevent back injuries among its pilots.
post #2 of 38

Somebody's math is off (might be mine.) $5.75 million a year for 5 years comes out to a savings of $28.75 million; no chump change, but not $50 million. What am I missing?

 

(edit: sigh ... never mind.... it's over 10 years. My bad! Although later in the article it says 5 years, not 10.)

post #3 of 38
For just being toys they sure do get used in a lot in a lot of businesses for serious and important work.

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post #4 of 38
In other words: local printers will lose $5 million in the next 10 years.
post #5 of 38
Am I the only one who read the headline and thought the article was going to be about the Air Force using 18 karat iPads? Lol.
post #6 of 38

When the the plane suddenly veers violently from side to side and all Air Control hears is Temple Run when they try to contact the pilot -  its time to worry. 

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lates23 View Post

Am I the only one who read the headline and thought the article was going to be about the Air Force using 18 karat iPads? Lol.

Yes lol
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post #8 of 38

Can Apple apply the $5 million dollars the government is saving and have those savings applied to Apple's tax bill if Apple were to bring into the USA profits from its  overseas operations?

/

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post #9 of 38

can't help but wonder why aircraft didn't already have a an electronic copy of the flight manuals already built in - its not like there is any shortage of computing power and screen space in an aircraft. 

 

Yes I know if it had been then it would likely be hundreds of pounds of redundant equipment with backup batteries and for the government it would cost a million dollars a year just for the service contract to keep them all updated. But still, if having an electronic version of information the crew needs at its finger tips is a good thing (for whichever, or all the reasons that are important), why does it have to be a separate device that gets carried on by the individual crew members? 

 

I wonder if they will also start using XAVION as well - http://xavion.com

post #10 of 38

In response to Winstein2010, unfortunately all flight maps/publications/manuals are printed by the government.  No local printers are involved, the maps/publications/manuals are printed about quarterly and then shipped in bulk to the different air squadrons, the Navy and the Army do the same thing. 

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post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

In other words: local printers will lose $5 million in the next 10 years.

Being that its the military. I doubt they were using local printers

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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Can Apple apply the $5 million dollars the government is saving and have those savings applied to Apple's tax bill if Apple were to bring into the USA profits from its  overseas operations?

Why would money being saved by a branch of the government be in any way connected to the tax bill by a private company. That $5 million was never Apple money and still isn't

That would be like me giving you a book of coupons for restaurants etc and then saying you should give me the money you are saving to pay my rent.

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post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

In other words: local printers will lose $5 million in the next 10 years.

 

 

The USAF has there own print shops. All branches of the military are fairly self sufficient when it comes to those kind of things. A lot of this has to do with security. Having them on an iPad also keeps the info on the various approach plates, maps, etc. up to date without having to manually replace pages. I can tell you that keeping your charts up to date is a large task since changes come out a couple times a week (I am basing my experience on keeping the Jeppsen charts up to date).

post #14 of 38
I'm sorry but I really don't think 50lbs will save 750,000$ per year in fuel costs. That's like saying me carrying an apple in my car will cost me 50$ a year more in gas (the math is not accurate but my point is made)
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

I'm sorry but I really don't think 50lbs will save 750,000$ per year in fuel costs. That's like saying me carrying an apple in my car will cost me 50$ a year more in gas (the math is not accurate but my point is made)

1) I believe that savings isn't in fuel per vehicle but total, after considering there are 18k iPads replacing all the paper manuals.

2) There is a huge difference in the energy it takes to lift an items v move an item across a horizontal plane. Consider a 50lb cannon ball. Do you think you could roll it 3 meter using less energy than lifting it and carrying it 3 meters?

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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


2) There is a huge difference in the energy it takes to lift an items v move an item across a horizontal plane. Consider a 50lb cannon ball. Do you think you could roll it 3 meter using less energy than lifting it and carrying it 3 meters?

Ah yes, forgot about that part. Makes more sense now
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

Ah yes, forgot about that part. Makes more sense now

There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?

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post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

can't help but wonder why aircraft didn't already have a an electronic copy of the flight manuals already built in - its not like there is any shortage of computing power and screen space in an aircraft. 

 

Yes I know if it had been then it would likely be hundreds of pounds of redundant equipment with backup batteries and for the government it would cost a million dollars a year just for the service contract to keep them all updated. But still, if having an electronic version of information the crew needs at its finger tips is a good thing (for whichever, or all the reasons that are important), why does it have to be a separate device that gets carried on by the individual crew members? 

 

I wonder if they will also start using XAVION as well - http://xavion.com

Space and computer power in the cockpit of a plane are at a premium. The electronic flight systems are dedicated to their specific task and the cockpits (even on large transports) are relatively cramped work spaces where every inch is used for completion of the mission.  Bulky paper charts had to be crammed into storage space as well. Now they have a dedicated (low or no power consumption, if used on batteries) device, saving both space and computing power. 

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

I'm sorry but I really don't think 50lbs will save 750,000$ per year in fuel costs. That's like saying me carrying an apple in my car will cost me 50$ a year more in gas (the math is not accurate but my point is made)

The only point you made is that you have a very narrow viewpoint. It could in fact cost you $50 a year or more to carry an apple in your car depending on several factors such as the weight of the apple, cost of fuel and the distance being traveled just to mention three very obvious items.

 

"We're saving about 90 pounds of paper per aircraft and limiting the need for each crew member to carry a 30 to 40 pound paper file," Moritz said. "It adds up to quite a lot of weight in paper."

Rogers was embedded recently with the U.S. Air Force and got to see Apple's iPad in action. He revealed that the switch from paper manuals to the iPad could cut up to 490 pounds in weight from a C-5 aircraft.

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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?

I think it is impossible to determine based on the information as we don't know the area of flotation, the displacement of the vessel, which lock (partial salinity of the water), or the volume of the ore. The answer could be any of the choices offered but practically speaking the water level would be the same because the difference would be unmeasurable by any known instrument due to the minuscule displacement that 5 tons of iron ore would have compared to such a large volume of water and the equally insignificant change in the displacement of the barge. But a great puzzle nonetheless.

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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think it is impossible to determine based on the information as we don't know the area of flotation, the displacement of the vessel, which lock (partial salinity of the water), or the volume of the ore. The answer could be any of the choices offered but practically speaking the water level would be the same because the difference would be unmeasurable by any known instrument due to the minuscule displacement that 5 tons of iron ore would have compared to such a large volume of water and the equally insignificant change in the displacement of the barge. But a great puzzle nonetheless.

You're on the right track in your line of questioning but you're starting to over think it. Just use standard values for H2O and FE.

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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You're on the right track but you're starting to over think it. Just use standard values for H2O and FE.

 

 

Oh and by the way I know that captain and he was crazy before the mosquito bit him.

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?

"Global Warming"

 

Cheers

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?

"Eureka!" as Archimedes would say. mstone is thinking too hard on this one. 

 

 

Anyways, who know buying "toys" would save so much money. 

post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

I'm sorry but I really don't think 50lbs will save 750,000$ per year in fuel costs. That's like saying me carrying an apple in my car will cost me 50$ a year more in gas (the math is not accurate but my point is made)

 

Well, let's see.  Roughly... for a thousand mile flight, a jet (like a 737) would burn an extra pound of fuel for every extra nine pounds of cargo.  So ten pounds fuel would be saved by leaving out a 90 pound pile of paper.   

 

Ten pounds is about 1-1/2 gallons of jet fuel.   Jet-A averages $5.50 a gallon, so that's about $8 per flight.  Doesn't sound like much, but the key is the number of aircraft and flights.

 

The USAF has about 800 cargo aircraft.  If each flies say, one flight a week with two x one thousand mile hops (go somewhere and back again), that's ~83,000 hops x $8 = $665,000 saved per year.

 

It adds up because of the number of flights, which is why the savings is even greater for the larger airlines.

 

Of course, one wag pointed out that if you could just get every passenger to urinate before flight (removing at least a few dozen pounds of extra weight), airlines could save even more.


Edited by KDarling - 5/17/13 at 4:19pm
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

"Eureka!" as Archimedes would say. mstone is thinking too hard on this one. 

 

You think I wasn't aware of Archimedes Principle? If I take a piss while floating in a pool does it raise the water level or just the level of contamination?

 

But back on track I was reading that a 747 uses 15-20% less fuel for a trans pacific flight when empty compared to being full of passengers and cargo.


Edited by mstone - 5/17/13 at 5:56pm

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post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

"Eureka!" as Archimedes would say. mstone is thinking too hard on this one. 

Displacement is key to solving it but you haven't stated an answer or why. What I think if your implied answer is incorrect.

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post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

"Eureka!" as Archimedes would say. mstone is thinking too hard on this one. 

Displacement is key to solving it but you haven't stated an answer or why. What I think if your implied answer is incorrect.

By the way there are no barge captains in the Panama Canal except for dredging barges. All commodity barges are towed by tug. 

I am interested where you got you first concept of this puzzle though. I do know a lot of Panama Canal pilots and tug crew members so I would like to pass this along once we decide what the answer is.

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post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

By the way there are no barge captains in the Panama Canal except for dredging barges. All commodity barges are towed by tug. 
I am interested where you got you first concept of this puzzle though. I do know a lot of Panama Canal pilots and tug crew members so I would like to pass this along once we decide what the answer is.

I also doubt one could go crazy by a mosquito bite that created this premise. The canal is just a convenient way to state that the volume of water is fixed.

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post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I also doubt one could go crazy by a mosquito bite that created this premise. The canal is just a convenient way to state that the volume of water is fixed.

Ha Ha you know those locks leak like crazy.

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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?

 

The water level goes down, because for same volume of water and iron ore, the iron weighs more.

 

Inside the boat, the ore displaces its weight in water.

 

Dumped into the lock, the ore only displaces its volume in water.

post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Ha Ha you know those locks leak like crazy.

Oh yeah! I've been through the canal (East to West) specifically so I could look at the engineering marvel it is.

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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Oh yeah! I've been through the canal (East to West) specifically so I could look at the engineering marvel it is.

You probably mean north to south because there is no east to west in the Panama Canal unless you want to spilt hairs


Edited by mstone - 5/17/13 at 7:25pm

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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

You probably mean north to south because there is no east to west in the Panama Canal

I mean I started in the Atlantic side and existed on the Pacific side. Saying N to S or NW to SE just seems more complicated but I see your point regarding the actual path when you only consider the channel through Panama and not general direction of travel.

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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

You probably mean north to south because there is no east to west in the Panama Canal

I mean I started in the Atlantic side and existed on the Pacific side. Saying N to S or NW to SE just seems more complicated but I see your point regarding the actual path when you only consider the channel through Panama and not general direction of travel.

I have many stories to tell about Panama. For example I remember when an aircraft carrier was transiting the canal and I was on an observation platform at Pedro Miguel when it was discovered only moments before impact the the stand was going to be demolished by the overhanging wing design of the ship. Many other stories of ships scraping the sides of the locks as a calculated expense because they were a bit too large among many other incidents. 

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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have many stories to tell about Panama. For example I remember when an aircraft carrier was transiting the canal and I was on an observation platform at Pedro Miguel when it was discovered only moments before impact the the stand was going to be demolished by the overhanging wing design of the ship. Many other stories of ships scraping the sides of the locks as a calculate expense because they were a bit too large among many other incidents. 

Less than two years until the expansion is complete but with the ice caps melting the Northern passage may actually be more economical, from what I've read.



PS: For anyone that hasn't seen it I highly recommend NOVA's A Man, a Plan, a Canal - Panama (2004).

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is a barge in the Panama canal with 5 tonnes of iron ore on deck. The locks are closed with no additional water getting in or out. The barge captain having been bit by a mosquito goes crazy and decides to dump the 5 tonnes of ore overboard. What happens to the level of the water? Does it go up, down or stay exact the same, and why?
It would remain the same would it not? The barge was originally loaded, causing more water to be displaced due to the added weight. Now, with the weight gone, the boat is lighter, causing less displacement, but the ore is now submerged in the water. This equals out.
Similar to if I was floating in the water holding a rock. Our combined weight would displace the water more than just my normal body weight would. If i drop the rock and it sinks, I become lighter ( displacing less water) but the rock now displaces some on its own so the water level remains unchanged
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

It would remain the same would it not?

See KDarling's comment.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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