The United States Air Force is planning to deploy thousands of iPads in cargo aircraft to replace paper charts and technical manuals that usually weigh in the hundreds of pounds.
According to a notice on fbo.gov
, “The Government plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a minimum of 63 and a maximum of 18,000, iPad 2, Brand Name or Equal devices.”
Submitted by the Department of the Air Force, the notice adds “This equipment will be utilized as Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) for flightcrew members and trainers. This acquisition will be conducted utilizing the Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process in accordance with Department of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Subpart 215.300 Appendix A.”
iPad flight-bags have proven to be a worthwhile asset
for commercial airlines. This decision was a no brainer for the United States Air Force.
Not only can you pre-load an iPad with just about any type of manual for any type of job, the Multi-Touch interface allows for a high degree of interaction with the content.
This makes the iPad a far more advanced manual. For example, the interface allows for the inclusion of a search bar which you can use to find a specific instruction in a few seconds.
With Siri integration, an iPad 3 could literally talk to you and tell you what you’re doing wrong. The possibilities are endless.
that the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command’s (AMC) planned purchase could be the largest single federal order for a tablet computer.
"Moving from a paper-based to an electronically-based flight publication system will not only enhance operational effectiveness, it can also save the Department of Defense time and money," Maj. Gen. Rick Martin, AMC director of Operations, told an Air Force publication last December.
However, AMC Public Affairs Director Lt. Col. Glen Roberts told NextGov the command "is looking for a tablet device, not necessarily an iPad.”