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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37


    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.)

  • Reply 2 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    For just being [I]toys[/I] they sure do get used in a lot in a lot of businesses for serious and important work.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    In other words: local printers will lose $5 million in the next 10 years.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    lates23lates23 Posts: 3member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member


    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. 

  • Reply 6 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    lates23 wrote: »
    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
  • Reply 7 of 37
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member


    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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  • Reply 8 of 37
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member


    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

  • Reply 9 of 37


    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. 

  • Reply 10 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    rot'napple wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 37
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,185member

    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).

  • Reply 13 of 37
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    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)
  • Reply 14 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    timbit wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 37
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    solipsismx wrote: »

    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
  • Reply 16 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    timbit wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 37

    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. 

  • Reply 18 of 37
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,139member

    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.

  • Reply 19 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mstone wrote: »
    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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