The United States Air Force is considering a massive purchase of iPad 2 tablets to outfit some pilots with tablet computers. There is a chance the tablets purchased might not be iPads, but the chance is slim. The USAF Air Mobility Command is reportedly going to issue a request for proposals to buy somewhere between 63 and 18,000 “iPad 2, brand-name or equivalent devices.”
The goal of the Air Force is to implement the tablets to reduce the workload of flight crews. The tablets would be used for digital charts and manuals just as American Airlines is using the iPad for already. The FAA approved the iPad for use in flight in the cockpit of commercial aircraft in December of 2011. American uses the tablets for digital versions of its charts and flight manuals. These digital versions are said to be easier to use and the weight reduction helps save on fuel costs as well.
The bags filled with manuals and navigation charts that the Air Force pilots carry weighs as much as 40 pounds according to an Air Mobility Command spokeswoman. If the Air Force buys 18,000 of the Apple tablets, it would be the one of the largest purchases of tablet computers yet by the US military.