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MacRumors
Mar 2, 2012, 11:34 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/02/us-air-force-agrees-to-purchase-9-million-worth-of-ipads/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/03/united_pilots_ipad.jpg


The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2s, according to Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-02/air-force-grants-9-million-award-for-as-many-as-18-000-ipad2s.html). The plan is to replace bulky and heavy flight bags full of navigational charts and other materials with iPads in order to reduce the weight of pilots' bags and save fuel on flights.

The Air Mobility Command (http://www.amc.af.mil/), which is purchasing the iPads, provides transport and refueling services using C-5, C-17, and C-130 cargo planes, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.

A number of airlines have begun testing iPads to replace heavy flight bags, including United (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/23/united-airlines-deploying-11000-ipads-to-pilots-as-electronic-flight-bags/), Delta (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/16/delta-testing-ipads-for-real-time-communications-with-pilots/), American (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/13/american-airlines-receives-faa-approval-for-ipads-in-cockpit/), and the Marine Corps (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/21/marine-corps-and-civilian-aircrews-replacing-maps-with-ipads/).

The iPads will streamline pilots' work by eliminating the need for thumbing through sheafs of paper or waiting for pages to print. The iPads will reduce clutter on cramped flight decks and offer quick and easy access to required data at all times.

Article Link: US Air Force Agrees to Purchase $9 Million Worth of iPads (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/02/us-air-force-agrees-to-purchase-9-million-worth-of-ipads/)



NXTMIKE
Mar 2, 2012, 11:38 AM
Well that's one way for Apple to clear out all their iPad 2 stock ahead of next week's release.

moose.boy
Mar 2, 2012, 11:41 AM
How does this match up with the following

http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/23/2818301/us-air-force-cancel-ipad-goodreader-russia-security

Is it the same tender or a different one ?

stridemat
Mar 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
Well that's one way for Apple to clear out all their iPad 2 stock ahead of next week's release.

Exactly what I was thinking. It's a win for Apple on both parts. Clearing out inventory and obtaining $9 million worth of revenue.

ataranlen
Mar 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
Why don't they just start using better technology in their plane instrument panels. I'm sure most that stuff is heavy :rolleyes:

Consultant
Mar 2, 2012, 11:42 AM
They should wait a week and buy the iPad 3.

SandboxGeneral
Mar 2, 2012, 11:48 AM
That's a lot of iPad's! Now the Pentagon is going to write new policies for locking them down and restricting their use so that they're almost useless.

marcusj0015
Mar 2, 2012, 11:49 AM
They should wait a week and buy the iPad 3.

they have to test all this **** for months bro.

----------

That's a lot of iPad's! Now the Pentagon is going to write new policies for locking them down and restricting their use so that they're almost useless.

They have to lock them down so they're secure bro. they'll use private networks and all kinds of ****, and it may be annoying but it's VERY important.

Jowl
Mar 2, 2012, 11:49 AM
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I can't wait for new aircraft to come with ipad dock connectors. :)

JonneyGee
Mar 2, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Shows that the military doesn't subscribe to MacRumors. I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!

FrizzleFryBen
Mar 2, 2012, 11:51 AM
They should wait a week and buy the iPad 3.

I agree. Retina displays would make a big difference when viewing flight data.

That's a lot of iPad's! Now the Pentagon is going to write new policies for locking them down and restricting their use so that they're almost useless.

Isn't that kinda the point? They aren't so pilots can play angry birds...Don't worry, they will make them very useful for the jobs they are intended.

fabian9
Mar 2, 2012, 11:52 AM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

SandboxGeneral
Mar 2, 2012, 11:54 AM
They have to lock them down so they're secure bro. they'll use private networks and all kinds of ****, and it may be annoying but it's VERY important.


Isn't that kinda the point? They aren't so pilots can play angry birds...Don't worry, they will make them very useful for the jobs they are intended.

I'm former military myself so I know what it's all about. I was being sarcastic in my remark.

kdarling
Mar 2, 2012, 11:58 AM
Two important quotes from the article:

The type of iPad the command is buying retails for $599, Ferrero said. The Air Force would buy it at a discount for about $520 a device, she said. The product comes with wireless connectivity and 32 gigabytes of memory, she said.

The contract allows the Air Force to buy as many as 18,000 of the devices within a year of the award date, which was yesterday, Ferrero said.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll purchase all 18,000,” she said. “It’s contingent upon funding requests and approval.”

The Air Force has already bought 63 iPad 2s from Executive Technology, Ferrero said. The devices will be delivered within 30 days and undergo testing, she said.

Btw, the USAF group that awarded the contract was the transport guys:

Air Mobility Command, based at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, provides transport and refueling services to the U.S. military using C-5, C-17 and C-130 cargo planes and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.

BC2009
Mar 2, 2012, 12:05 PM
Well that's one way for Apple to clear out all their iPad 2 stock ahead of next week's release.

Yup, though the purchases won't happen right away, and I'm betting Apple continues selling the iPad 2.

That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

They are not buying the 16GB WiFi model, though I'd bet the price point of the iPad 2 is going to drop. It's possible the deal will allow them to purchase iPad 3 as well since the actual purchases are still pending.

pjapk
Mar 2, 2012, 12:13 PM
D'ya think they'll ensure they switch 'em off during take-off & landing like the rest of us? :)

colindias
Mar 2, 2012, 12:15 PM
This paves the way for future Government purchases... which is great, but to put this in perspective, in the grand scheme of things this amounts to about $0.009/share revenue for AAPL shareholders, or at 44% profit, about $0.004/share, so dont go getting too excited about it...

rdowns
Mar 2, 2012, 12:18 PM
Two important quotes from the article:




Like people here read the linked articles before replying.


This paves the way for future Government purchases... which is great, but to put this in perspective, in the grand scheme of things this amounts to about $0.009/share revenue for AAPL shareholders, or at 44% profit, about $0.004/share, so dont go getting too excited about it...


The publicity Apple receives because of stories like these is worth millions.

Saladinos
Mar 2, 2012, 12:19 PM
Now they need to refit the jets for iPod compatibility :P

notjustjay
Mar 2, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Shows that the military doesn't subscribe to MacRumors. I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!

The military spending millions of dollars on obsolete technology? Shocking! :eek:

foodog
Mar 2, 2012, 12:31 PM
The military spending millions of dollars on obsolete technology? Shocking! :eek:

One model away from newest hardware and the current OS is not even close to obsolete.

Daeruin
Mar 2, 2012, 12:32 PM
Just make sure the battery is charged before takeoff! :D

SandboxGeneral
Mar 2, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

Shows that the military doesn't subscribe to MacRumors. I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!

The military spending millions of dollars on obsolete technology? Shocking! :eek:

Well to be fair, the military and governments in general do not make snap decisions to buy anything.

The Air Force and Pentagon probably have had this on the burner for months in committee and study before they decided to purchase. Plus Apple likely provided them a quote, for the current available product, quite some time ago. All long before the iPad 3 rumors started. Plus they can't plan to buy a product that hasn't been announced yet.

Arran
Mar 2, 2012, 12:41 PM
D'ya think they'll ensure they switch 'em off during take-off & landing like the rest of us? :)

or get their data throttled like the rest of us :)

DJJAZZYJET
Mar 2, 2012, 12:44 PM
they should have waited until the iPad 3

Sweetcheetah
Mar 2, 2012, 12:56 PM
They should wait a week and buy the iPad 3.

I wouldn't think most pilot would be needing the boosted processing power or be doing or playing HD games and watching HD movies etc etc or doing any sort of extensive editing on those devices so why spend more than they need? And I'm sure for the general consumers there will be a hell of a lot of use for power processing because we are spoiled for them. I can't wait to get the iPhone 4S myself, a huge upgrade from my "ancient" 3gs. Don't get me wrong, i've been able to use a lot of features and apps for everyday productivity with the 3GS. Just that I'll be able to do a lot more and faster with the device.

It all depends on what is most beneficial to the cost of use of any devices. If the full potential of a device is barely reached, might as well use the one that is potentially matched to that of the end users.

matrix07
Mar 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
they should have waited until the iPad 3

The title is misleading. This can include iPad3 and in fact most of the purchases will be iPad3. I gues retina display plays a part to finalize the deal considering they had cancelled the purchase once just recently. Thinking about all those HD maps...

C. Alan
Mar 2, 2012, 12:57 PM
That's a lot of iPad's! Now the Pentagon is going to write new policies for locking them down and restricting their use so that they're almost useless.

Oh so much of THIS...

How in the hell are they going to sync them with the current AF restrictions on flash media?

Sweetcheetah
Mar 2, 2012, 01:10 PM
Oh so much of THIS...

How in the hell are they going to sync them with the current AF restrictions on flash media?

Usually, when an iPad or iPhone is being adapted for a specific industry a proprietary apps and equipments are made for them. Seen it done all the time. Medical devices and hook ups. Cable company equipments. Auto industries to check engine problems hook ups. It's going to be easy to build to adapt. Not to mention consumerism adaptation.

You can put a iPhone 4S on a plastic long gun that you mount the iPhone onto and it turns into an augmented Virtual Reality Game that utilizes the gyro scope as you turn your body will the game app adapted to this gun and you can play a virtual duck hunter or First person shooter game with your WHOLE body movement. HOw cool is that.

----------

Mmmm Interesting. Why not any other htc tablets? Or Samsung tablets? Why not the over sized Samsung phone and tablet in one? Why not PC of some sort? Guess Apple continues to win the hearts of industry users. I've seen a lot more industries such as hospitals, cable companies, restaurants, school, etc preferring apple product than any other product devices.

Reeebo
Mar 2, 2012, 01:26 PM
One EMP shockwave and it'll be all over... army needs to make sure not to depend too heavily on these things

sfjava
Mar 2, 2012, 01:27 PM
Why don't they just start using better technology in their plane instrument panels. I'm sure most that stuff is heavy :rolleyes:

FAA is extremely slow implementing new technology. Just look at the debate on GPS technology that FAA recently approves it to replace the airport old radar system.

Tones2
Mar 2, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Well to be fair, the military and governments in general do not make snap decisions to buy anything.

The Air Force and Pentagon probably have had this on the burner for months in committee and study before they decided to purchase. Plus Apple likely provided them a quote, for the current available product, quite some time ago. All long before the iPad 3 rumors started. Plus they can't plan to buy a product that hasn't been announced yet.

Comeon...you'd have to be living in a vaccum to not know the iPad 3 release schedule was slated for March and it would have a Retina. They could have negotiated to wait until the next release - it's not like they got a good deal on the iPad 2's anyway.

BTW - I assume this means that I can use MY iPad during takeoffs and landings. :)

Tony

LostSoul80
Mar 2, 2012, 01:58 PM
The title is misleading. This can include iPad3 and in fact most of the purchases will be iPad3. I gues retina display plays a part to finalize the deal considering they had cancelled the purchase once just recently. Thinking about all those HD maps...

I don't think there's a need for maps to be viewed on a higher resolution, that doesn't make any sense.

If they opt for the iPad 2 they would actually conclude a good deal now.

martiansoldier
Mar 2, 2012, 02:09 PM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

Why would they negotiate when the taxpayers, i.e., most of us here are footing the bill?

SandboxGeneral
Mar 2, 2012, 02:27 PM
Comeon...you'd have to be living in a vaccum to not know the iPad 3 release schedule was slated for March and it would have a Retina. They could have negotiated to wait until the next release..


I would speculate that yes, they probably knew a new iPad would be released, but they can't test and procure based on rumors of an unannounced product.

SBlue1
Mar 2, 2012, 02:31 PM
ipad 2? :D

mrsir2009
Mar 2, 2012, 02:41 PM
They're not going to spend 9 million on iPad 2's with the iPad 3 just round the corner, are they?

taxiapple
Mar 2, 2012, 02:45 PM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

......or the price may have include extended warranties, training, perhaps a 64GB model, maybe even was specially modified.

In any event I am sure they payed less than list price

champ01
Mar 2, 2012, 02:45 PM
"The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2s"

The U.S. Air Force or The U.S. Tax payers?

kdarling
Mar 2, 2012, 02:46 PM
... Plus Apple likely provided them a quote, for the current available product, quite some time ago. ...

They're not buying them direct from Apple, but from a value-added reseller who will no doubt also have to set them up with the proper software, cases, etc.

From the original article: (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-02/air-force-grants-9-million-award-for-as-many-as-18-000-ipad2s.html)

Air Mobility Command announced the award today to Executive Technology Inc., a Phoenix-based computer services company, Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a military spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview.

...

The competition drew 24 proposals from interested companies, Ferrero said. She wouldn’t name the companies or say whether Cupertino, California-based Apple responded to the request. The command’s decision was based in part on the lowest- priced offer, she said. - Bloomberg News

Mmmm Interesting. Why not any other htc tablets? Or Samsung tablets? Why not the over sized Samsung phone and tablet in one? Why not PC of some sort?

They did. The military has been using Windows and Unix laptops and touch tablets as pilot aids since they first came out in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The iPad is cheaper than most touch PCs, so that's a reason to choose them for this particular transport application where ruggedness isn't required. It also currently has a better selection of COTS EFB software than the Android tablets.

For other situations that require more security than EFBs do, the DoD and Army have been approving Android devices (http://www.mobileburn.com/18449/news/us-army-government-adopting-android-smartphones-and-tablets-for-field-use) with a certified OS version:

The government chose Android over Apple's iOS platform because Apple was unwilling to provide the government with access to the platform's source code, something that is readily available for Android. - mobileburn

Speaking of vetting applications to make sure they don't transmit personal data:

"The researchers in the program have tested over 200,000 (Android) apps for security clearance already. "

Would love to have a list of the ones that made it :)

taxiapple
Mar 2, 2012, 02:57 PM
"The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $9.36 million contract to purchase as many as 18,000 iPad 2s"

The U.S. Air Force or Tax payers?

The article said the US Air Force

notjustjay
Mar 2, 2012, 03:02 PM
Comeon...you'd have to be living in a vaccum to not know the iPad 3 release schedule was slated for March and it would have a Retina. They could have negotiated to wait until the next release - it's not like they got a good deal on the iPad 2's anyway.


When it comes to military and government stuff, this stuff takes a LONG time. Months, if not years, from initial proposals to RFPs to contract award to writing system specifications and requirements. By the time the stuff is developed, test and acceptance procedures are written and executed, and the proper signoffs are obtained, the rest of us could well be using iPad 5's. And if that was the case, they can't just say "oh, we'll just swap out the iPad 2's for the new hardware" -- that would invalidate the test and safety procedures and they'd have to start all over again.

Lucent336
Mar 2, 2012, 03:15 PM
One EMP shockwave and it'll be all over... army needs to make sure not to depend too heavily on these things

If an EMP hits anywhere near enough to knock out an iPad in the cockpit of an Air Force craft, losing the Nav charts on the iPad will be the least of their worries.

Since, you know, it'd also knock out ALL electronic functions on the craft.:p

orangerizzla
Mar 2, 2012, 03:20 PM
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I hope they remember to switch them to airplane mode! ;-)

Freis968
Mar 2, 2012, 03:33 PM
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I wonder if they bought AppleCare.

kdarling
Mar 2, 2012, 03:36 PM
If an EMP hits anywhere near enough to knock out an iPad in the cockpit of an Air Force craft, losing the Nav charts on the iPad will be the least of their worries.

Since, you know, it'd also knock out ALL electronic functions on the craft.:p

Perhaps not. Depends partly on when the engine and cockpit electronics were designed and built, and of course on how much the craft is valued :)

For example, U.S. early warning and command center planes are EMP hardened, as are most bombers, ICBMs, and cruise missiles made over the past twenty-five years.

It was widely assumed that the Russians would begin any attack with a HEMP (high altitude EMP) blast over North America from an otherwise innocently orbiting satellite.

Hardtimes
Mar 2, 2012, 03:41 PM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

To be fair, the US military are hardly renowned for their intelligence or negotiation skills.

Still, if they gave a few iPads out to some of those guys to alleviate some boredom, there might be a few less dead civillians to sweep under the carpet.

FarmerP2011
Mar 2, 2012, 03:42 PM
Great idea, just hope they harden them against EMP or this could be a problem. ;)

firewood
Mar 2, 2012, 03:49 PM
D'ya think they'll ensure they switch 'em off during take-off & landing like the rest of us? :)

You don't have to switch devices off if the operator (airline officials for commercial flights, the pilot for private planes) certifies that the devices are safe and gives you permission to leave them on.

Abazigal
Mar 2, 2012, 04:16 PM
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It makes sense to go for a somewhat older model. It will be cheaper and already tested for flaws or bugs.

Besides, good luck getting an ipad3 if the army is snapping up that many units. You should be happy they are not vying with you. Imagine if they came down to your local apple store with tanks and commandos to escort that new ipad3 shipment....:D

kdarling
Mar 2, 2012, 04:32 PM
$520 per device is a deal, for a couple of reasons:

First, it's a retail $599 item.

More importantly, the USAF isn't going to have its crews sitting around with iTunes.

That's why the USAF is buying the iPads through a value-added reseller (VAR).

The VAR will do all the dirty work loading software and setting up the devices. They might also have to keep spares around, and perhaps handle longer term software updates etc.

chrono1081
Mar 2, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Shows that the military doesn't subscribe to MacRumors. I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!

This is nothing new for the military. They upgraded to Windows Vista after 7 was out.

Lokany
Mar 2, 2012, 06:02 PM
Even the air force bought too early.... Happens to all of us.

sUGArDawg
Mar 2, 2012, 06:17 PM
Now they need to refit the jets for iPod compatibility :P

We listen to iPods all the time...you just need the proper 3.5mm adapter to integrate the audio in to the crew interphone.

kipj77
Mar 2, 2012, 06:22 PM
They should wait a week and buy the iPad 3.

HAHAHA :D

Yes

Don Kosak
Mar 2, 2012, 06:24 PM
The iPad agreement makes sense. The electronic "flight bag" suite on the iPad has had several iterations in the private airline business. It's a logical step to apply the same technology to the military.

I'm just waiting for the US Air Force to equip their UAV drones with Siri. :eek:

snowmoon
Mar 2, 2012, 06:29 PM
People arguing over cost of these devices... these electronic flight bags would be replacing hundreds of dollars and upwards of 50 pounds of paper that needed to be updated monthly. Assuming they get used each iPad will represent a significant cost savings.

kdarling
Mar 2, 2012, 06:59 PM
People arguing over cost of these devices... these electronic flight bags would be replacing hundreds of dollars and upwards of 50 pounds of paper that needed to be updated monthly. Assuming they get used each iPad will represent a significant cost savings.

If they're using commercial charts, like the Jeppesen Military Chart Service, then they still have to pay for them in electronic form.

However, the USAF says that up to 70 pounds of aircraft and rule binders are carried onboard... and those could be removed in favor of an electronic version. Removing weight saves fuel; switching to electronic data saves time updating. That's the savings.

E.Lizardo
Mar 2, 2012, 08:51 PM
Thank you for using the apostrophe correctly throughout this article.

ProVideo
Mar 2, 2012, 11:05 PM
This paves the way for future Government purchases... which is great, but to put this in perspective, in the grand scheme of things this amounts to about $0.009/share revenue for AAPL shareholders, or at 44% profit, about $0.004/share, so dont go getting too excited about it...

Many people bought Windows machines because it was what was used at their workplace. How many of those iPads' new users will now purchase an iPad for personal use because of the familiarity of the device. It draws a new group of users into Apple's halo effect where they could be influenced to buy other Apple products as well.

OrangeSVTguy
Mar 2, 2012, 11:53 PM
Should have waited till after next week and they could have purchased 23,000 iPads instead :p

alternateroute
Mar 3, 2012, 12:20 AM
Not carrying all those heavy bombs and missiles would also be a good way to reduce weight and save fuel.:D

CosmoPilot
Mar 3, 2012, 12:24 AM
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I'm one of the pilots that will be taking advantage of this. I can assure everyone that the AF is not waisting money on obsolete technology. Our flight bags (pubs, charts, etx.) weigh about 200 lbs per jet (yes, lots of books to travel globally). The iPad2 is sufficient for our needs. We do not need to edit movie or play garage band. We only need access to .pdf files and navigational charts/approach plates.

Also, a test program (AF) has been in use for a long time now to study its benefit. This hasn't been a quick decision. Like all things, a checklist and/or technical order will be published documenting it's use (charging, turning off radios, updating with current pubs, personal use limitations, etc.). The general public can rest assured the AF will get this right.

Personally, I'm shocked the AF has taken a progressive stance and moved forward on this inititative. Normally we are years behind the airlines due to operational limitations and testing.

MythicFrost
Mar 3, 2012, 04:10 AM
This was cancelled... wasn't it?

KingJosh
Mar 3, 2012, 04:57 AM
I guess all the Apple haters gonna have to swim/walk

adildacoolset
Mar 3, 2012, 05:30 AM
for the love of anything don't let the F-18 pilots play angry birds. They'll get addicted in the jet

ChristianJapan
Mar 3, 2012, 05:44 AM
This is nothing new for the military. They upgraded to Windows Vista after 7 was out.

My company (healthcare) the same; because of qualification of devices. We did that too with iPad 1/ iPad 2. Our user asked us: why we get the old crap ?
And I fear we do it again with iPad2/iPad 3

MUrhino
Mar 3, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Well to be fair, the military and governments in general do not make snap decisions to buy anything.

The Air Force and Pentagon probably have had this on the burner for months in committee and study before they decided to purchase. Plus Apple likely provided them a quote, for the current available product, quite some time ago. All long before the iPad 3 rumors started. Plus they can't plan to buy a product that hasn't been announced yet.

Yep. I'm an AMC pilot and have heard rumors of this for almost a year...no good sources, but this will be nice. Almost everyone has their own iPad now to look at pubs, but there is no good system in place for looking at current navigation charts or approach plates without paying an expensive subscription fee. Once they figure out how to restrict them it should be a nice change. Mission planning on the road is so much easier w/ an iPad. Retina display isn't a big deal for flying either.

kdarling
Mar 3, 2012, 08:17 AM
This was cancelled... wasn't it?

I believe it was the USAF Special Ops order (http://www.investorplace.com/2012/02/air-force-special-ops-cancels-ipad-procurement-plan-aapl-rimm-dell/)that was cancelled because of security concerns.

This thread is about a different procurement contract for the Mobility Command. It still depends on the outcome of initial testing and validation.

What we're seeing is the usual struggle over finding a good choice that also makes sense from security and longevity standpoints. Remember, these will be in use for a long time. They'll need updates and replacements.

It's such a pain to validate a particular device, that normally you'd want assurances it will be available for a few years. The trouble with most commercial devices is that their models change at least once a year.

That's where devices like Panasonic's Toughpad series might come in. Or a VAR's custom implementation or stock buildup. Or even the iPad 2 if Apple keeps it around as a lower priced choice.

PracticalMac
Mar 3, 2012, 08:37 AM
I wonder if Apple will be directly involved in modifications to USAF's liking?


BTW, Foxconn can make 18,000 units in a few hours.

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Should have waited till after next week and they could have purchased 23,000 iPads instead :p

I am certain they are well aware of iPad 3.
Their is a lot more initial work to do then going to nearest Apple store and make the sales clerk eye's bug out.

MythicFrost
Mar 3, 2012, 08:44 AM
I believe it was the USAF Special Ops order (http://www.investorplace.com/2012/02/air-force-special-ops-cancels-ipad-procurement-plan-aapl-rimm-dell/)that was cancelled because of security concerns.

This thread is about a different procurement contract for the Mobility Command. It still depends on the outcome of initial testing and validation.

What we're seeing is the usual struggle over finding a good choice that also makes sense from security and longevity standpoints. Remember, these will be in use for a long time. They'll need updates and replacements.

It's such a pain to validate a particular device, that normally you'd want assurances it will be available for a few years. The trouble with most commercial devices is that their models change at least once a year.

That's where devices like Panasonic's Toughpad series might come in. Or a VAR's custom implementation or stock buildup. Or even the iPad 2 if Apple keeps it around as a lower priced choice.
Ah, I see. Thanks for that.

charlituna
Mar 3, 2012, 09:41 AM
Shows that the military doesn't subscribe to MacRumors. I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!

Given what they are using them for and that they will likely be locked out not unlike Apple's "Smart Screens" iPads, I don't think they care about said issue. That said, if there is a launch of new hardware there is probably some clause in the deal about changing to the newer hardware for any purchases after that date or a drop in price (or increase in the units bought) to account for the funds.

Oh and for those asking about the Russia thing, I call BS on that rumor. I suspect the real reason was that someone pointed out that it was almost as useless for them to just put things in PDFs and they should have a custom app built. So they cancelled an original contract that was just for buying the iPads and 18k copies of Good Reader and put out a new bid for making that app etc.

PracticalMac
Mar 3, 2012, 09:41 AM
USAF is getting an EXCELLENT deal and will happen THIS YEAR.
Almost all iPad 3's

1: The version of iPad (from Bloomberg report):
The type of iPad the command is buying retails for $599, Ferrero said. The Air Force would buy it at a discount for about $520 a device, she said. The product comes with wireless connectivity and 32 gigabytes of memory, she said.

The USAF will be saving $80 per iPad, that is IF by "wireless connectivity" does not mean 3G included, AND not counting any software. The chats could be $10~50 per pad too.

2. The US military over the last few years has been searching for commercial products for solutions, the COTS program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_off-the-shelf), see COTS Journal (http://www.cotsjournalonline.com/).

3. Use of iPad in Aviation over last year already produced most of the software Air Transport command will need and has established a track record.

4. Custom devices would cost thousands more and take years to approve.

5. iPad will only be used for airport info, maybe flight planning, not that actual flying. FAA Regulations (FAR) actually do not prohibit use of iPad for navigation in private aircraft, only if used as secondary instruments. That is a working set of certified instruments are used (but in an emergency situation of total loss of primary instruments an iPad could be used).

6. Approval and training will go much faster then one expects because of other efforts to utilize the iPad.

7. Weights and Balance are critical in cargo aircraft, and an app can be created to reduce data error. At the very least a training device. Since this is a specialty item it will take longer to test and approve for use.

8. Changing and updating software will be incredibly easy.


Win win win for the USAF

charlituna
Mar 3, 2012, 09:44 AM
Comeon...you'd have to be living in a vaccum to not know the iPad 3 release schedule was slated for March


We didn't KNOW that until Apple sent out the announcement and as it for all we know this is a 3 month ahead announcement cause the iPad is about to go to the FCC for approval on using LTE and it would be leaked by the whole "records are public" nature of the FCC process. So the release won't be until June.

SockRolid
Mar 3, 2012, 01:39 PM
Now they need to refit the jets for iPod compatibility :P

And Siri. "Siri - begin refueling procedure for the F-22A behind us..."

SockRolid
Mar 3, 2012, 02:04 PM
[...] 8. Changing and updating software will be incredibly easy.

Win win win for the USAF

Agree. The USAF will develop their own custom apps, deploy them in-house through the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, and avoid using thousands of tons of paper every year. The FAA requires paper maps and manuals to be updated every month in civilian aviation, and it likely that the USAF does the same.

The iPads should pay for themselves quickly. Just from paper printing / recycling cost savings plus the tiny reduction in fuel burned by not carrying all that extra weight. It all adds up.

IJ Reilly
Mar 3, 2012, 04:24 PM
Agree. The USAF will develop their own custom apps, deploy them in-house through the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, and avoid using thousands of tons of paper every year. The FAA requires paper maps and manuals to be updated every month in civilian aviation, and it likely that the USAF does the same.

The iPads should pay for themselves quickly. Just from paper printing / recycling cost savings plus the tiny reduction in fuel burned by not carrying all that extra weight. It all adds up.

I'd think that space would be at even more of a premium than weight. VFR sectional charts are good for six months, but even for VFR private pilots it's still cheaper, easier, less bulky and more convenient to carry all that paperwork on an iPad. Add IFR approach plates and the no doubt voluminous procedure manuals the military uses, and the choice becomes a no brainer.

ablashek
Mar 3, 2012, 05:43 PM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

THOUGHT THE SAME THING, BUT THEN THINK ABOUT IT. THE AIRFORCE MUST BE REQUESTING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE WITH IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVEN GIVE THEM A SPECIAL VERSION OF THE iOS THATS MORE SECURE AND INTEGRATED WITH CURRENT MILITARY SERVICES. SO THE PRICE MIGHT SEEM STEEP, ITS NOT CRAZY.

ITS NOT AN IPAD TO PLAY ANGRY BIRDS YOU KNOW.

Abazigal
Mar 3, 2012, 08:21 PM
Does that final price include the warranty? If so, that's actually not too bad a deal. :)

MUrhino
Mar 3, 2012, 11:15 PM
One EMP shockwave and it'll be all over... army needs to make sure not to depend too heavily on these things

Not too worried about an EMP taking out my iPad as the entire jet will go black...:rolleyes:

gatortpk
Mar 4, 2012, 12:06 AM
Two important quotes from the article:

Quote:
The type of iPad the command is buying retails for $599, Ferrero said. The Air Force would buy it at a discount for about $520 a device, she said. The product comes with wireless connectivity and 32 gigabytes of memory, she said.
Quote:
The contract allows the Air Force to buy as many as 18,000 of the devices within a year of the award date, which was yesterday, Ferrero said.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll purchase all 18,000,” she said. “It’s contingent upon funding requests and approval.”

The Air Force has already bought 63 iPad 2s from Executive Technology, Ferrero said. The devices will be delivered within 30 days and undergo testing, she said.

Quote:
Air Mobility Command, based at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, provides transport and refueling services to the U.S. military using C-5, C-17 and C-130 cargo planes and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.


Btw, the USAF group that awarded the contract was the transport guys:



All great information. The "wireless connectivity" must be just wifi only, because the 32GB, 3G model sells for $729 (and not $599). Wireless connectivity seems to refer to cell (phone) networks more (present day) than wifi because wifi is so ubiquitous.

This also suggests that the data from the flight logs is on the iPad storage themselves (little doubt there, but it's updated routinely through Wifi I imagine) and not on a server to be accessed by Wifi only. (Wifi on the plane is painfully slow and 3G would be needed while on the ground in the cockpit, if server access were needed all the time)

----------

Not too worried about an EMP taking out my iPad as the entire jet will go black...:rolleyes:

Present day avionics are heavily shielded, so an EMP would certainly cripple an iPad, but perhaps some avionics could survive a little EMP? (especially the military cold war grade equipment from the '80's? They just need a reboot?)

LxHunter
Mar 4, 2012, 08:21 AM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

Sounds reasonable to me. Who knows if the total price quoted includes configuration costs or other stuff.

kdarling
Mar 4, 2012, 10:40 AM
THOUGHT THE SAME THING, BUT THEN THINK ABOUT IT. THE AIRFORCE MUST BE REQUESTING SPECIAL ASSISTANCE WITH IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVEN GIVE THEM A SPECIAL VERSION OF THE iOS THATS MORE SECURE AND INTEGRATED WITH CURRENT MILITARY SERVICES. SO THE PRICE MIGHT SEEM STEEP, ITS NOT CRAZY.

Yes, the whole point of using a VAR is to get the iPads preconfigured (activated, software loaded, custom settings).

No, there's no special secure iOS version. Apple has been less cooperative than RIM, Microsoft and Google when it comes to making such a validated device for the government.

Agree. The USAF will develop their own custom apps, deploy them in-house through the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, and avoid using thousands of tons of paper every year.

It sounds like, in this case, they're simply using off the shelf EFB apps.

I'd think that space would be at even more of a premium than weight.

Neither is much concern on a cargo / tanker aircraft, which is where these would be used.

Sounds reasonable to me. Who knows if the total price quoted includes configuration costs or other stuff.

The whole point is configuring. Basically a little outfit put in the low bid to do whatever the contract required. (See first paragraph above.)

Interestingly, the contract was supposedly awarded on March 1st, but the DoD contract site (http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=4737) doesn't mention it that day... meaning it was less than $6.5 million. Which makes sense; they only ordered about 60 iPads to start with, to see if the bidder can live up to configuring those within 30 days.

If they get them done, and everything tests out okay, then more buying can occur depending on budget and project approvals. (In other words, this is not a done deal for 18,000 iPads; it's just the beginning.) It will also mean the bidder will begin to hire more people to help configure as orders come in.

Many civilian and military contracts start this way: little bid, small company, ramp up later if you win.

gatortpk
Mar 4, 2012, 11:45 AM
Many civilian and military contracts start this way: little bid, small company, ramp up later if you win.

That makes so much sense. It seems to me that many, perhaps the majority of all private defense contractors started out this way.

("Majority", could it be more than half of all started out this way? The only way if this isn't true is if a company was already big doing other things before the military contracted their services. Apple would be one very large example. In this case discussed here, there is probably a small company doing the configuring of the iPads and if they win, then they just became another "not small" private DoD contractor.)

kdarling
Mar 4, 2012, 12:13 PM
That makes so much sense. It seems to me that many, perhaps the majority of all private defense contractors started out this way.

Exactly. A lot of major companies of today got their big push with WW-II and Cold War contracts.

If all goes right, it's a deal for the government. If not, we get cost overruns, late deliveries and so forth, since that's easier to deal with than starting all over again with someone else.

I've been on both sides of the start-small thing, giving out contracts or getting them. Sometimes the companies only exist as long as it takes to fulfill that one contract, though.

In this case, I'd almost bet that it was just a couple of guys who are willing to make very little per device. A larger company couldn't afford to bid that low, but if it was only a profit of say, $30 per iPad over 10,000 devices to a couple of people, then that's good pay for a total of a few month's work setting them up, especially if they hire some teenagers to do it for them. Then they'll go on to something else.

Glideslope
Mar 4, 2012, 12:30 PM
This is nothing new for the military. They upgraded to Windows Vista after 7 was out.

Target acquired. Release in 3..2..1 :apple:

gkarris
Mar 4, 2012, 04:09 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/03/united_pilots_ipad.jpg



"See, it not only holds the Airport Diagrams, but my Wife's recipes and the kids' Angry Birds games..." :eek:

;)

Eosblue
Mar 4, 2012, 07:31 PM
I can't believe the idiot comments here about something they know nothing about. Using iPads for inflight cockpit manuals is something that some airlines are already doing to save money.

The fact that the Air Force is joining this techonolgoy to cut flight costs is commendable. And yes, these iPads will be ON for takeoffs and landings as the imagery will be necessary for flight safety.

Whether each pilot will get a personal iPad I can't say. I can see a procedure whereas they will be issued when the pilot reports for duty and turned in at the end of the flight. That would make the most sense to insure the data is up to date.

Whether they're issued in this manner or each pilot will be given a personal one to take home, I'm going to guess that they won't be able to have games, etc loaded on them. Strictly flight and aircraft data would be my guess. As to power, I would be willing to bet a bunch (like Mitt's $10,000) that there will be powered access to insure no iPad battery will go dead inflight.

Come on children, knock off the stupid comments in this thread.

looking4anotebo
Mar 4, 2012, 07:39 PM
That's $520 per iPad… Looks like negotiation isn't one of the Air Force's strong points!

Military is known for excessive and wasteful spending. I wonder why? Oh yeah, it's because it's on the public's tab.

usptact
Mar 5, 2012, 01:34 AM
I fully agree about usability of printed materials but don't understand how it will reduce fuel consumption. Those papers are not weighting tens and hundreds of kilos!!!

sennekuyl
Mar 5, 2012, 02:01 AM
Target acquired. Release in 3..2..1 :apple:

Don't you mean
Select Aunt killer delete all

MythicFrost
Mar 5, 2012, 02:13 AM
I fully agree about usability of printed materials but don't understand how it will reduce fuel consumption. Those papers are not weighting tens and hundreds of kilos!!!
I don't know the exact weight but they're quite heavy. Two iPads is only 1.2kg.

PracticalMac
Mar 5, 2012, 09:18 AM
I fully agree about usability of printed materials but don't understand how it will reduce fuel consumption. Those papers are not weighting tens and hundreds of kilos!!!

I don't know the exact weight but they're quite heavy. Two iPads is only 1.2kg.

Crew have to carry a FULL SET of charts.
VFR charts, world wide
IFR charts, world wide
Airport directories (include map, frequencies, instrument approaches, etc).
Manifests
and other misc items.

oh, Weather charts.

All that is over 30lb (14kg) of weight. Some quote 70lb (33kg), each flight!

iPad can load all that, and more (like rules and schedules).


Yes, all that weight is tiny compared to the cargo, but understand for aircraft (and space craft), every GRAM increases fuel usage,
and then you need MORE fuel to move that extra fuel!

usptact
Mar 5, 2012, 09:25 AM
Crew have to carry a FULL SET of charts.
VFR charts, world wide
IFR charts, world wide
Airport directories (include map, frequencies, instrument approaches, etc).
Manifests
and other misc items.

oh, Weather charts.

All that is over 30lb (14kg) of weight. Some quote 70lb (33kg), each flight!

iPad can load all that, and more (like rules and schedules).


Yes, all that weight is tiny compared to the cargo, but understand for aircraft (and space craft), every GRAM increases fuel usage,
and then you need MORE fuel to move that extra fuel!

I accept your point. But then a related question: why all this was not done with laptops e.g. tablet versions? Thinkpads have nice and light tablet versions which could serve pretty well for the task.

PracticalMac
Mar 5, 2012, 09:44 AM
I accept your point. But then a related question: why all this was not done with laptops e.g. tablet versions? Thinkpads have nice and light tablet versions which could serve pretty well for the task.

The industry is full of attempts as using laptops, palmtops, Palm Pilots, WindowsCE devices, and even actual custom made devices, but none was an adequate solution (laptop batteries rarely lasted long enough for a flight).

iPad was simply the perfect combination.

MythicFrost
Mar 5, 2012, 09:59 AM
Crew have to carry a FULL SET of charts.
VFR charts, world wide
IFR charts, world wide
Airport directories (include map, frequencies, instrument approaches, etc).
Manifests
and other misc items.

oh, Weather charts.

All that is over 30lb (14kg) of weight. Some quote 70lb (33kg), each flight!

iPad can load all that, and more (like rules and schedules).


Yes, all that weight is tiny compared to the cargo, but understand for aircraft (and space craft), every GRAM increases fuel usage,
and then you need MORE fuel to move that extra fuel!
Yeah, it's definitely an improvement vs 33kg.

JGowan
Mar 5, 2012, 10:48 AM
I'd be mad if I spent $600 on a device that was made obsolete a week later, not to mention several million!If you do the math, you see that's an average of $520 per iPad 2. Now, we can know Apple isn't just selling them 16GB models because those retail at $499. So we can guess it's a good mixture of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. You can bet that the Gov is getting a good deal.

thuchu1
Mar 5, 2012, 11:09 AM
It cost $2400 to sit in an overly-cramped seat on a United flight to Australia on an outdated airliner (1 tv per cabin section). I guess this is where my money went.

coreperformance
Mar 5, 2012, 02:47 PM
D'ya think they'll ensure they switch 'em off during take-off & landing like the rest of us? :)

They just need to switch them to "flight mode." ;)

snowmoon
Mar 5, 2012, 02:59 PM
I accept your point. But then a related question: why all this was not done with laptops e.g. tablet versions? Thinkpads have nice and light tablet versions which could serve pretty well for the task.

Because of the investment in testing and process by which devices are cleared by the FCC to be used for EFB.

http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2011/InFO11011.pdf

iPads are just one of the first tablets where the COTS device is both common enough to get certified and cheap enough that it's a no brainer to use.

Dr McKay
Mar 5, 2012, 03:37 PM
The Royal Air Force is thinking about updating Flight manuals to iPads. As it apparently costs something like £9,000 to print each flight manual after it gets amended. Amending it and them transferring to the iPad will be much, much cheaper. The British Army already uses iPads to train Apache pilots.

faroZ06
Mar 5, 2012, 09:15 PM
An iPad 2 just to read manuals? Can't they get something cheaper and more directly suited for the job?

SprodeBoy
Mar 5, 2012, 10:22 PM
One EMP shockwave and it'll be all over... army needs to make sure not to depend too heavily on these things
Sir... you understand that an EMP shockwave would bring down the plane whether it was using an iPad or not.

kdarling
Mar 5, 2012, 11:31 PM
I accept your point. But then a related question: why all this was not done with laptops e.g. tablet versions?

It has been done since the early 1990s. FedEx began providing computers early on. The military was also an early adopter in some units.

Now I think Jet Blue has all their manuals on computer. Private pilots and many charter operations have been using tablet EFBs since 2000. I know, because I used one back then.

The industry is full of attempts as using laptops, palmtops, Palm Pilots, WindowsCE devices, and even actual custom made devices, but none was an adequate solution (laptop batteries rarely lasted long enough for a flight).

No need to run on battery. We simply plugged the tablets into the lighter socket. In case of electrical emergency, you certainly didn't need hours of runtime, since you should be on the ground long before then.

Because of the investment in testing and process by which devices are cleared by the FCC to be used for EFB.
...
iPads are just one of the first tablets where the COTS device is both common enough to get certified and cheap enough that it's a no brainer to use.

Nothing to do with being common. iPads aren't approved in general. They have to go through the same testing as anything else, and have to do so for each and every installation type. So there's no money savings there.

However, I think you're right that being inexpensive per device is why more airlines are buying them. Plus more managers have heard of iPads :)

PracticalMac
Mar 6, 2012, 01:54 PM
No need to run on battery. We simply plugged the tablets into the lighter socket. In case of electrical emergency, you certainly didn't need hours of runtime, since you should be on the ground long before then.


It is one more wire to get in the way, and for 24V aircraft, the adapters are a little less common.

Took an 8 hr flight (each way) in 172, and the iPad lasted the entire way there, and had enough juice for another full day of casual usage, with 3G on.
It had a smart cover so only opened it up to look at progress, but being on the moment I opened it up made it incredibly useful.

iPad is far and away the best aviation accessory after AvGas. ;)

----------

An iPad 2 just to read manuals? Can't they get something cheaper and more directly suited for the job?

Much more then just charts and manuals.
BA is using it to keep track of passengers, for instance.

Private aircraft as using them to create flight plans and en-route backup navigation.

List of uses is growing fast.

faroZ06
Mar 6, 2012, 06:11 PM
It is one more wire to get in the way, and for 24V aircraft, the adapters are a little less common.

Took an 8 hr flight (each way) in 172, and the iPad lasted the entire way there, and had enough juice for another full day of casual usage, with 3G on.
It had a smart cover so only opened it up to look at progress, but being on the moment I opened it up made it incredibly useful.

iPad is far and away the best aviation accessory after AvGas. ;)

----------



Much more then just charts and manuals.
BA is using it to keep track of passengers, for instance.

Private aircraft as using them to create flight plans and en-route backup navigation.

List of uses is growing fast.

I guess there are a lot of uses, but I really can't think of anything they'd need the best tablet for. I would say that they could use something cheap and Android, but I just realized that that would open up security vulnerabilities.

Anyway, I love your signature. USB should be destroyed as a standard.

kdarling
Mar 6, 2012, 07:13 PM
Took an 8 hr flight (each way) in 172, and the iPad lasted the entire way there, and had enough juice for another full day of casual usage, with 3G on.

I totally agree that the iPad has an amazingly long battery life, especially in standby mode.

iPad is far and away the best aviation accessory after AvGas. ;)

Or perhaps an STC for auto gas ;)

I guess there are a lot of uses, but I really can't think of anything they'd need the best tablet for. I would say that they could use something cheap and Android, but I just realized that that would open up security vulnerabilities.

Actually there have been government certified Android tablets (plus the government and high ranking military are about to get secure Android smartphones (http://gizmodo.com/5882546/us-military-to-get-secure-android-handsets)).

The RIM Playbook is also validated for secure use.

iOS is not certified because Apple doesn't let its source code out, and thus is not considered a secure option. (For this flight application, high security is not needed.)

PracticalMac
Mar 7, 2012, 11:36 AM
I guess there are a lot of uses, but I really can't think of anything they'd need the best tablet for. I would say that they could use something cheap and Android, but I just realized that that would open up security vulnerabilities.

Anyway, I love your signature. USB should be destroyed as a standard.
Android is not getting much support in aviation community, for same reasons iPad is so popular.

Thanks!
USB is the BANE of our company, lots of headaches. USB is perfect for what it was made for, not what some of the uses for it.


Or perhaps an STC for auto gas ;)



Actually there have been government certified Android tablets (plus the government and high ranking military are about to get secure Android smartphones (http://gizmodo.com/5882546/us-military-to-get-secure-android-handsets)).

The RIM Playbook is also validated for secure use.

iOS is not certified because Apple doesn't let its source code out, and thus is not considered a secure option. (For this flight application, high security is not needed.)

STC for AutoGas would be great, IF I could find AutoGas to use! And the mandatory 10% ethanol is a wrench in the idea.

I hear Apple has changed tune and are working to get security clearances. The irony is, the stricter software control makes it quite secure in some aspects.

twoodcc
Mar 7, 2012, 06:02 PM
great! the rest of the government needs to join in!

MUrhino
Mar 10, 2013, 10:27 AM
[/COLOR]

Present day avionics are heavily shielded, so an EMP would certainly cripple an iPad, but perhaps some avionics could survive a little EMP? (especially the military cold war grade equipment from the '80's? They just need a reboot?)[/QUOTE]

There are certain aircraft in the inventory that are shielded from an EMP that I won't go into. If your claim of individual avionics being "heavily shielded" (I'd love to see your source on that by the way) is true, what about all the circuits connecting the avionics? Are they shielded? My point is the whole aircraft would need to be hardened against an EMP, otherwise you'd still have a breakdown in basic fly-by-wire commands, among multiple other system failures, regardless of whether or not the avionics were shielded or not.

So far the EFBs are useful and still undergoing testing for in-flight cockpit sole use.