Air Force OKs $9 Million iPad Buy

C-5 Galaxy

The U.S. Air Force is officially on board the iPad bandwagon, with a $9.36 million contract for up to 18,000 of the Apple tablets. Between savings on printing and distributing charts and aircraft manuals, coupled with fuel savings, the Air Force Mobility Command estimates the iPads will save $5.7 million per year over the next decade. About $1 million in annual savings is attributed to fuel savings based on flying without all that paper on board.

In the case of a C-5 Galaxy, iPads will be 500 pounds lighter than the crewmembers’ and aircraft’s documentation paperwork. The program began last year with a six-month trial period involving more than 700 iPad 2 tablets used by C-130 crews. Full implementation of the program is expected this year.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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