The U.S. Air Force’s purchase of 18,000 iPads for use as electronic flight bags could save the armed forces branch more than $50 million over the next 10 years.
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.
Manager of the AMC’s electronic flight bag program, Major Brian Moritz, stated the Air Force expects the iPad to help save $5.7 million per year, resulting in savings of “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.”
The switch from paper manuals to the iPad could cut up to 490 pounds in weight from a C-5 aircraft.
Approximately 16,000 3rd-generation iPad with Retina display devices are now in use by AMC crew, said Rogers. The remaining 2,000 units are said to have been deployed across other Air Force units.