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MacRumors
Jun 21, 2011, 03:11 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/21/marine-corps-and-civilian-aircrews-replacing-maps-with-ipads/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/110419-N-MD252-111-500x332.jpg

(http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/110419-N-MD252-111.jpg)
Civilian and military flight crews are increasing looking to the iPad to replace bulky maps and flight manuals, saving weight and ensuring that crews always have the most up to date materials.

In the past month, both American Airlines (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-air-sees-paperless-cockpits-with-ipad-2011-06-16) and Alaska Airlines (http://splash.alaskasworld.com/Newsroom/ASNews/ASstories/AS_20110527_082430.asp) have begun distributing iPads to their pilots to reduce the number of paper maps flight crews must to carry around and fly with. The switch saves paper, and thus fuel, by reducing the weight of pilots' flight bags which can weigh several dozen pounds.

iPads are also seeing action in war zones. DVIDS reports (http://www.dvidshub.net/news/71885/semper-fipad-marine-corps-aviators-use-popular-tablet-afghanistan) how Marine Corps aviators are using iPads in Afghanistan:"iPads allow close-air support aircrew several advantages," said Maj. Marc Blankenbicker, the lead fire control officer for the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron Harvest Hawk detachment at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan. "First is the ability to carry 500 large charts, known as gridded reference graphics, on one electronic tablet."

Currently, a handful of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) squadrons use Apple's iPad in Afghanistan. This includes crewmembers for AH-1W and UH-1Y light attack helicopter squadrons, AV-8B Harrier pilots and the crew of the Harvest Hawk equipped KC-130J.

Each of these aircraft provides close-air support for Marines, Afghan forces and other combined team ground troops in Nimroz and Helmand provinces. Marine aviators said the electronic tablet helps them quickly access maps and other data they can use to ensure precision strikes are targeted at enemy positions.The U.S. Navy is using iPads as well. The image at the top of this article shows U.S. Navy Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Tolbert uploading "geographical data onto tactical Apple iPad tablets to be used for combat operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson at sea April 19, 2011."

The secure tablet storage box the Navy is using in that picture appears to be a Pelican 1630 Transport Case (http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1630), available on Amazon.com for $299.94 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000K2OOYG/) (with free shipping!).

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher K. Hwang/Released)

Article Link: Marine Corps and Civilian Aircrews Replacing Maps With iPads (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/21/marine-corps-and-civilian-aircrews-replacing-maps-with-ipads/)



justgeig
Jun 21, 2011, 03:16 PM
too awesome! The way the iPad has changed the world has been subtle yet still profound

ltcol266845
Jun 21, 2011, 03:25 PM
I've got a Pelican 1600 for my photo equipment. Love it!

ElBarto79
Jun 21, 2011, 03:31 PM
This is cool, but what about the regulation that all electronic devices must be switched off during takeoff and landing??

FloatingBones
Jun 21, 2011, 03:36 PM
This is cool, but what about the regulation that all electronic devices must be switched off during takeoff and landing??
The Alaska Airlines article (http://splash.alaskasworld.com/Newsroom/ASNews/ASstories/AS_20110527_082430.asp) covered that:

The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

This sounds like a bit of a disconnect. Based on the vast amount of plane info and maps in the device, it seems that the flight crew might need to consult them close to takeoff or landing.

bradl
Jun 21, 2011, 03:40 PM
This is cool, but what about the regulation that all electronic devices must be switched off during takeoff and landing??

That regulation is only applicable to Part 121 (commercial) operations. It does not apply to Part 91 (general aviation), Part 135 (chartered/fractional), or military operations.. Though the Congress/FAA wants to change that..

BL.

ten-oak-druid
Jun 21, 2011, 04:18 PM
These are neat applications of the ipad. The planes should start being equipped with solar panels built in for charging devices like this.

The ipad will continue to be the dominant tablet. Sure some other tablets will take some of the marketplace. But the ipad will remain at 75% for some time.

Apparently the mobile carriers are looking at dropping the subsidies on tablets as well. The ipad doesn't need it (people want it) and the sales of the competition just aren't enough to warrant it.

Amazing Iceman
Jun 21, 2011, 04:24 PM
This is cool, but what about the regulation that all electronic devices must be switched off during takeoff and landing??

I think the interference issue with airplanes is all BS, a panic inherited from many years ago.
Some flights now allow certain electronic devices to be used, even offer WiFi access.

Plus the whole world is saturated with RF interference. The plane itself generates RF.
The plane's sensors and antennas are external, such as Comm, Navigation, GPS, radio, etc.

In any case, all iOS devices and many others have what is called: "Airplane Mode".

stridemat
Jun 21, 2011, 04:31 PM
The image at the top of this article shows U.S. Navy Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Michael Tolbert uploading "geographical data onto tactical Apple iPad tablets to be used for combat operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson at sea April 19, 2011."


Its also good for killing them damn angry birds.

IzzyJG99
Jun 21, 2011, 04:45 PM
Fascinating development since the 2nd M.A.W. is the unit doing large scale Air Assault war games from Quantico, VA to the Pinecastle Bombing Range in Ocala, FL starting yesterday and running through Friday. I imagine they'll be using iPads and iPhones.

Kingsly
Jun 21, 2011, 05:07 PM
I think the interference issue with airplanes is all BS, a panic inherited from many years ago.
Some flights now allow certain electronic devices to be used, even offer WiFi access.

Plus the whole world is saturated with RF interference. The plane itself generates RF.
The plane's sensors and antennas are external, such as Comm, Navigation, GPS, radio, etc.

In any case, all iOS devices and many others have what is called: "Airplane Mode".

I make calls, download updated charts, text people, and check mail on my iPhone all the time in small planes and helicopters. Bearing in mind that GA instruments are not nearly as well designed or shielded as the stuff found in airliners, the fact that I've never had an instrument failure or even the slightest hiccup while circling downtown with a phone shoved underneath my headset makes me think that the FAR's are outdated and unfounded.

That being said, if the aircrew tells you to do something, listen. Their job is to keep you safe!

ten-oak-druid
Jun 21, 2011, 05:18 PM
I think the interference issue with airplanes is all BS, a panic inherited from many years ago.
Some flights now allow certain electronic devices to be used, even offer WiFi access.

Plus the whole world is saturated with RF interference. The plane itself generates RF.
The plane's sensors and antennas are external, such as Comm, Navigation, GPS, radio, etc.

In any case, all iOS devices and many others have what is called: "Airplane Mode".

I think most of the time it is Ok really. But once I had a crew announce that people needed to check because the instruments weren't behaving properly and someone's device was interfering.

djrobsd
Jun 21, 2011, 05:19 PM
This is great, but let's hope they didn't forget to charge the iPad before take off... And also, let's hope they have another iPad handy in the cock pit in case the one they're using dies.... ;)

arian19
Jun 21, 2011, 05:24 PM
What app do they use?

IzzyJG99
Jun 21, 2011, 05:53 PM
What app do they use?

Allegedly they (Military) use closed apps developed just for them. Rumor has it that they (ground troops) can take out an iPhone and use it's GPS to add what we know as a Red Pin (Google Maps) onto where they believe to be enemy troops. They then text that to an aircraft, which locks onto the coords with a GPS guided bomb. It's speculation and nothing is ever said officially, but it's kinda the obvious thing.

WestonHarvey1
Jun 21, 2011, 06:38 PM
This is great, but let's hope they didn't forget to charge the iPad before take off... And also, let's hope they have another iPad handy in the cock pit in case the one they're using dies.... ;)

You still carry paper charts. This isn't much different than flying the charts on the Garmin 1000 glass cockpit. Even though it is highly reliable and convenient, it's still a bad habit to not have your paper charts in your bag and trace out your course with a pencil before your flight.

Kingsly
Jun 21, 2011, 07:22 PM
You still carry paper charts. This isn't much different than flying the charts on the Garmin 1000 glass cockpit. Even though it is highly reliable and convenient, it's still a bad habit to not have your paper charts in your bag and trace out your course with a pencil before your flight.

I used my iPhone with copilot and a tomtom dock on a long multi-waypoint flight last month and the combination performed flawlessly... that being said, if the app crashed or I lost power to the dock the day would have been very, very sad without backup charts. :(

Tazzy531
Jun 21, 2011, 07:54 PM
Just curious, what is the battery life on these binders that they used to carry?

flywithsean
Jun 21, 2011, 08:02 PM
I think the interference issue with airplanes is all BS, a panic inherited from many years ago.
Some flights now allow certain electronic devices to be used, even offer WiFi access.

Plus the whole world is saturated with RF interference. The plane itself generates RF.
The plane's sensors and antennas are external, such as Comm, Navigation, GPS, radio, etc.

In any case, all iOS devices and many others have what is called: "Airplane Mode".

The regulations allow an operator to use or allow any electronic device as long as the operator determines that it will not cause interference.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may operate, nor may any operator or pilot in command of an aircraft allow the operation of, any portable electronic device on any U.S.-registered civil aircraft operating under this part.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to --

(1) Portable voice recorders;

(2) Hearing aids;

(3) Heart pacemakers;

(4) Electric shavers; or

(5) Any other portable electronic device that the part 119 certificate holder has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used.

(c) The determination required by paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be made by that part 119 certificate holder operating the particular device to be used.

AP_piano295
Jun 21, 2011, 11:55 PM
Seems like an awful idea maps are wonderfully durable and don't require batteries.

I would hate to be a marine stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken ipad and no idea how to read a map.

Technology is great but increased complexity comes with the potential for failure(s) always.

Bonfire
Jun 22, 2011, 01:02 AM
Wow, I wonder how many million that cost. More money down the defense budget rathole.

bradl
Jun 22, 2011, 02:02 AM
Wow, I wonder how many million that cost. More money down the defense budget rathole.

Compared to how much it takes to cut the tree, make the paper, print their documents on said paper a number of thousands of times, and destroy them when the new cycles come out? If following the normal AIRAC cycle, those charts get updated every 28 days. Let's use a round figure.. let's say 2000 times, and there are 50 pages per cycle. You're looking at 10000 pages every 28 days. And after that 28 days, they get thrown away.

That, vs. the cost of 2000 iPads, that only need to be bought once. That's a huge SAVINGS over that 28 day period that you're not realizing. That's why AAL and ASA went to iPads over paper charts, and why most Part 121 ops are drifting that way.

BL.

Macs In LA
Jun 22, 2011, 03:49 AM
1) Maps still work fine if a bullet is shot though it. Or if they are dropped. Maps also do not run out of batteries.

2) I want assurances there are no Angry Birds on the battlefield.

iDisk
Jun 22, 2011, 04:18 AM
The Military has gone soft.. and it's said to hear a full replacement of something thats more reliable & portable and has been used since ancient times, being replaced by the iPad...

Bad move by the Military, but I'm not surprised

Dr McKay
Jun 22, 2011, 05:16 AM
The British Army has been using the iPad to train their Helicopter Pilots and even plan exercises/missions.

They say the younger officers respond to it much better than the old-fashioned training techniques.

spazzcat
Jun 22, 2011, 06:58 AM
The Alaska Airlines article (http://splash.alaskasworld.com/Newsroom/ASNews/ASstories/AS_20110527_082430.asp) covered that:



This sounds like a bit of a disconnect. Based on the vast amount of plane info and maps in the device, it seems that the flight crew might need to consult them close to takeoff or landing.

http://avstop.com/feb_2011/executive_jet_receives_faa_authorization_to_use_jepp_charts_on_ipad.htm

February 12, 2011 - Jeppesen announced on Friday that Executive Jet Management has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to use the Jeppesen Mobile TC App for iPad as an alternative to paper aeronautical charts.

nutjob
Jun 22, 2011, 07:35 AM
Seems like an awful idea maps are wonderfully durable and don't require batteries.

I would hate to be a marine stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken ipad and no idea how to read a map.

Technology is great but increased complexity comes with the potential for failure(s) always.

My god you're right. Thank god that planes don't use complex computers and electronics just to stay in the air at any given moment, and just about everything else.

nutjob
Jun 22, 2011, 07:37 AM
This is great, but let's hope they didn't forget to charge the iPad before take off... And also, let's hope they have another iPad handy in the cock pit in case the one they're using dies.... ;)

Personally I don't care if all those things happen, as long as the autopilot keep on working.

*LTD*
Jun 22, 2011, 07:42 AM
But I thought this was just a niche product that won't last?

AP_piano295
Jun 22, 2011, 09:55 AM
My god you're right. Thank god that planes don't use complex computers and electronics just to stay in the air at any given moment, and just about everything else.

Way to compare apples to oranges, modern planes can't function without computers. Maps on the other hand work exceptionally well and continue to work when wet, shot, and after weeks without power.

Ipad(s) for pilots fine, but I wouldn't wan't to rely on something like this as a ground soldier.

Kingsly
Jun 22, 2011, 12:30 PM
For everyone worrying about battery life, y'all do realize that as long as the engines are running (and for a good while after thanks to things called batteries) the aircraft is generating electricity.

The kind that can be used to charge an iPad. :p

SockRolid
Jun 22, 2011, 12:31 PM
Wow. If I had 14 iPads that I needed to transport all together, I'd get that cool Pelican case. (I have several Pelican cigars cases already, and they're excellent.)

Sackvillenb
Jun 22, 2011, 12:31 PM
That's pretty cool.

Kind of funny that ipads will soon help people kill other people though. Go figure.

Also, while these ipads are pretty useful (or extremely useful, probably), I'm pretty sure that any soldier with half a brain (or an important mission) will still have an old fashioned map as a backup.

Maybe they'll make some special ruggedized ipads for the military eventually...

usptact
Jun 22, 2011, 01:02 PM
Strange. I heard that every military equipment is super thoroughly tested with compliance to so-called MIL-XXXX standards. Is iPad conforming to those requirements??

kdarling
Jun 22, 2011, 01:28 PM
A few notes:

Such devices have been in use since at least 2000, using PC and other tablets. One primary difference with the iPad is its price. Another is that it must be stowed during takeoff and landing, and cannot connect to the airplane's systems like some other, more expensive, certified devices.

Re: MIL SPEC. Yes, it will be interesting to see how Apple reacts to someone trying to get warranty work on an iPad full of sand, or with its moisture sensors triggered from being near water all the time.

True story about using non-mil parts: Decades ago the military budget was tight, so we made sure that everyone in our unit had a Radio Shack Battery-of-the-Month Club card when stateside, so we would have plenty of spare D cells to run our backpack EW radios when we deployed to the field.

Re: airplane interference. If you read the anonymous ASRS reports to NASA, there's been plenty of reports of interference over the years, from navigation to autopilots. Not to mention getting that ridiculous GSM buzz in the headphones of some older planes. I say, better safe than sorry.

Mac.World
Jun 22, 2011, 01:52 PM
Having been in the military for over 2 decades, I'm glad to see troops getting equipment that is actually useful for once.

Assuming the iPad wireless connectivity is cut off and these can only use certified apps, I'm guessing they are also SCIF certified. It will be interesting to see these being used in the field. Looks like Navy/Marines with iPads and Army with Android.

navedb
Jun 22, 2011, 09:39 PM
My god you're right. Thank god that planes don't use complex computers and electronics just to stay in the air at any given moment, and just about everything else.

Yeah... and please do know that just as iPads can get broken... maps can tear! Well, if we don't appreciate technology... one most probably won't be sending e-mails... it would be smoke-mails.

marksman
Jun 25, 2011, 09:40 PM
People should just memorize the maps because as mentioned maps can tear, they can burn, they can be damaged by bullets and explosions.

Memorize everything so there is no risk of something getting damaged! Unless you get killed, at which point it doesn't matter.

Baron58
Jun 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
This is cool, but what about the regulation that all electronic devices must be switched off during takeoff and landing??
Does not apply to devices which have been tested and approved under a Part 121 or 135 OpSpec. Also does not apply to devices on Part 91 flights with the flight crew's permission, so it's a non-issue.


I think the interference issue with airplanes is all BS, a panic inherited from many years ago.
Some flights now allow certain electronic devices to be used, even offer WiFi access.

Plus the whole world is saturated with RF interference. The plane itself generates RF.
The plane's sensors and antennas are external, such as Comm, Navigation, GPS, radio, etc.

In any case, all iOS devices and many others have what is called: "Airplane Mode".

You are entirely wrong.

This is great, but let's hope they didn't forget to charge the iPad before take off... And also, let's hope they have another iPad handy in the cock pit in case the one they're using dies.... ;)

Our OpSpec for using 'Electronic Flight Bags' on our Part 135 (charter) flights is that we must have 2 devices (1 for each crewmember), plus an on-board printer so that if one device fails the other can be used to print paper copies of the necessary approach charts on the spot, OR completely paperless if there is a third device switched off and stored so that if some electrical event disabled 2 devices the third one could be pulled out and turned on.

You still carry paper charts.
Not necessarily, see above. I fly frequently with only electronic charts.

What app do they use?

ForeFlight (http://www.foreflight.com/ipad) is the absolute best right now.
WingX has a few nice features, but everyone I know who's tried it goes to ForeFlight (http://www.foreflight.com/ipad) pretty soon.
Jeppesen Mobile TC (http://jeppdirect.jeppesen.com/legal/charts/ifr_jepptc.jsp) only has approach plates right now, but will soon have enroute charts, at which point it will probably become the preferred solution for airlines and all non-US operators (ForeFlight has US charts only).
Lufthansa LIDO (http://mobility.lhsystems.com/) is what one US airline uses, but is not widely used in the US yet since it doesn't have full coverage.

Big-TDI-Guy
Jun 26, 2011, 11:06 AM
5 bucks says an iPad couldn't survive basis mil-spec hardware qualification testing.

Let's see how well an iPad holds up when being slammed with RF jamming equipment.

Not to mention the 3 foot drop test onto concrete, condensing humidity testing, water impingement, fungus / mold growth testing, UV exposure, gamma exposure, -40C operating temp...

Screw that, 10 bucks! :D

WestonHarvey1
Jun 27, 2011, 04:23 PM
Not necessarily, see above. I fly frequently with only electronic charts.

[/LIST]

To each his own, I guess. But I don't know why you'd not want to be prepared. Maybe a VFR flight you've done a million times, I don't know. But I want my charts and my whiz wheel and my handheld on every flight.