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Electronic flight bags could boost operational safety, effectiveness

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Yeah, it helps keep the 50 year old yoke funk to a minimum.

An EFB probably isn't a great solution in fighter and tactical environments and my guess is that most in those communities would rather stick to paper pubs for the reasons you list. I see the EFB as more of an AMC solution.

Kind of what I was getting at. If I were a fighter/tac guy flying in situations where NVGs were a necessity rather than an SA enhancement tool, I would not want this, but I would gladly prefer it to having to lug around every single page of FLIP for the entire world.

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but I would gladly prefer it to having to lug around every single page of FLIP for the entire world.

Fair enough.

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For fighters, probably not a replacement for a paper -1, but an easy replacement for FLIP. Not like you're going to reference FLIP with your NVGs anyway. It would be much better than fishing around in the tiny pubs case at night on a divert looking for the low approach book that some jackass lodged in sideways at the very bottom of the case.

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Or even worse when you finally get the mangled, dislodged VOL X out from the case and the approach you need has been ripped out in someone's obvious haste during a previous divert. That one's my favorite.

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For fighters, probably not a replacement for a paper -1, but an easy replacement for FLIP. Not like you're going to reference FLIP with your NVGs anyway. It would be much better than fishing around in the tiny pubs case at night on a divert looking for the low approach book that some jackass lodged in sideways at the very bottom of the case.

Preflight the pubs case, it takes less than 6.9 seconds and pays off big time when you need it.

And, some people land with their goggles on so depending on a tool that creates a light issue is probably not a great plan.

Or even worse when you finally get the mangled, dislodged VOL X out from the case and the approach you need has been ripped out in someone's obvious haste during a previous divert. That one's my favorite.

Really? How often does that happen to you?

That is an enormous foul. It is simple to figure out who did that and they should be given NAVO duties for at least 1 year.

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Slapping a filter on an iPad shouldn't be that big a deal. We've flown with tablets running falconview for years and the color mismatch has never been an issue that I know of, keeping filters intact has been (legit NVIS filters are expensive) and most simply go without now. That said, taping a photography gel over the screen should work.

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Slapping a filter on an iPad shouldn't be that big a deal. We've flown with tablets running falconview for years and the color mismatch has never been an issue that I know of, keeping filters intact has been (legit NVIS filters are expensive) and most simply go without now. That said, taping a photography gel over the screen should work.

any recommended brands or methods you found to be successful?

we're about to start flying with iPads in the Bone (for tactical reasons - FLIP/TO's will just be an added benefit) and could use any advice you guys with experience might have...

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I'd love to see this. The way it has been pitched to us is that you will still have your checklists and TOs, but the EFB will replace the enroute charts, approach plates, etc. So while you still have your checklist for handling emergencies or aircraft operations, we are no longer carrying all the FLIP that gets replaced every six weeks. This means you no longer have to pay for thousands of paper-copy enroute charts, approach plates that rarely, if ever, get used, an AP-1B and so on. On our last deployment, I heard that the Hornet guys were using iPads loaded with tactical charts, such as GRGs and the like, along with imagery for areas of interest.

In the B-1, we've had laptops running Falconview for about 8 years. Tie the laptop to a GPS, and presto - moving map like some guys are discussing.

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any advice you guys with experience might have...

There are no kidding NVIS compliant filters that you can buy but they're extremely expensive. We're mostly using toughbooks now, so when not in use they just get shut to keep the screen off as the filters made for the toughbooks prevent the touchscreen from working (hard plastic offset from screen), so not even an option with an iPad. I've seen some made from a sort of soft plastic filter that used a leather surround and elastic straps to hold the filter on (get a local shop to sew em up or do it yourself, but you have to buy the filter) which worked great, but I don't know where the filter material came from. Photography gels are really cheap ($5 for a 20x24" sheet, Rosco is one of the big makers) and thin enough that they shouldn't screw up the touch screen, and you could just tape or velcro them on but you'd have to experiment with colors to figure out if that would be "good enough" rather than the legit NVIS compliant filters.

On that note, I'm going to order some gels and do some experimentation of my own. EDIT: Going to give this a try: Roscolux #389 Chroma Green

Edited by busdriver

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I see the EFB as more of an AMC solution.

AMC is the biggest user of FLIP, with the AETC being second from the NGA briefer.

Break, break...

There is only one guy working the iPad 2 app. Other versions for different devices (blackberry, whatever, etc) years down the road.

I'll scan and post the briefing and it should answer several questions tomorrow.

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I'd love to see this. The way it has been pitched to us is that you will still have your checklists and TOs, but the EFB will replace the enroute charts, approach plates, etc. So while you still have your checklist for handling emergencies or aircraft operations, we are no longer carrying all the FLIP that gets replaced every six weeks. This means you no longer have to pay for thousands of paper-copy enroute charts, approach plates that rarely, if ever, get used, an AP-1B and so on. On our last deployment, I heard that the Hornet guys were using iPads loaded with tactical charts, such as GRGs and the like, along with imagery for areas of interest.

In the B-1, we've had laptops running Falconview for about 8 years. Tie the laptop to a GPS, and presto - moving map like some guys are discussing.

we've got them in hand. i was as surprised as anyone that the purchase went through - for iPad2's no less (i figured we'd buy a crappy PC knock-off). we should start flying with them any day now, I'll let you know how it works out.

There are no kidding NVIS compliant filters that you can buy but they're extremely expensive. We're mostly using toughbooks now, so when not in use they just get shut to keep the screen off as the filters made for the toughbooks prevent the touchscreen from working (hard plastic offset from screen), so not even an option with an iPad. I've seen some made from a sort of soft plastic filter that used a leather surround and elastic straps to hold the filter on (get a local shop to sew em up or do it yourself, but you have to buy the filter) which worked great, but I don't know where the filter material came from. Photography gels are really cheap ($5 for a 20x24" sheet, Rosco is one of the big makers) and thin enough that they shouldn't screw up the touch screen, and you could just tape or velcro them on but you'd have to experiment with colors to figure out if that would be "good enough" rather than the legit NVIS compliant filters.

On that note, I'm going to order some gels and do some experimentation of my own. EDIT: Going to give this a try: Roscolux #389 Chroma Green

sweet, thanks man - we're gonna look into that for NVIS-aiding. the NVIS in our cockpit is so shitty I doubt it will matter much though.

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NGA App

Where did you find this? I looked all over the NGA and DLA sites, but even the NGA "app store" page didn't appear to link to anything, even from a .mil computer.

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Where did you find this? I looked all over the NGA and DLA sites, but even the NGA "app store" page didn't appear to link to anything, even from a .mil computer.

Closed Beta test.

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Closed Beta test.

Where did you find this? I looked all over the NGA and DLA sites, but even the NGA "app store" page didn't appear to link to anything, even from a .mil computer.

Yep. Designer emailed the beta testors the app file.

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Guest afairteam

Any active duty members out there familiar with the iOS development environment interested in helping the AF save billions of dollars? The A.I.R. Team has been integral to the current development and testing of the AFSOC EFB program. There has already been one squadron-wide distribution of iPad 2s replacing all paper publications (AFIs, unclassified Dash-1s, etc.). The same squadron is currently testing multiple FLIP applications to include one developed by the NGA. We are looking for motivated and talented active duty members to help design a variety of apps. Now is the time to get on board if you are interested as things are happening fast. An amazing amount of headway has already been made towards AFSOC-wide implementation of iPad 2s for use as (1) ePub readers, (2) Electronic Flight Bags, (3) Executive Tablets, and (4) Productivity, Connectivity, and Morale enhancement devices. Anyone interested please respond through the 'Contact Us' tab at http://www.afairteam.org/ .

The A.I.R. Team

"To be good stewards of the resources that the American taxpayers have entrusted us with by inspiring (A)dvancement, (I)nnovation, and ®ecovery."

FYI: The AIR Team is nothing more than a few active duty guys and gals with a desire to save taxpayer money through Advancement, Innovation and Recovery. There are no additional benefits available beyond what Uncle Sam already pays you twice a month. Check out http://www.afairteam.org/ for more info.

Where did you find this? I looked all over the NGA and DLA sites, but even the NGA "app store" page didn't appear to link to anything, even from a .mil computer.

The NGA app is only in development stage. It has yet to be posted in the app store. If you are interested in trying the app, attempt to get hold of them and they may be able to send you a DVD with all the info needed.

The A.I.R. Team

"To be good stewards of the resources that the American taxpayers have entrusted us with by inspiring (A)dvancement, (I)nnovation, and ®ecovery."

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Slapping a filter on an iPad shouldn't be that big a deal. We've flown with tablets running falconview for years and the color mismatch has never been an issue that I know of, keeping filters intact has been (legit NVIS filters are expensive) and most simply go without now. That said, taping a photography gel over the screen should work.

We have tested the iPads under NVG conditions using only the "White/Black" setting. We found it to work almost perfectly. It can be switched on and off by using the 'Triple-click Home' function. Set this up through Settings-->General-->Accessibility-->Triple-click Home. Try it out. If you don't mind, let us know what your results are. http://www.afairteam.org/ .

The A.I.R. Team

"To be good stewards of the resources that the American taxpayers have entrusted us with by inspiring (A)dvancement, (I)nnovation, and ( R)ecovery."

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I have no idea how they calculated savings with the iPads, they just said $1.2 million in fuel. Not sure how much could be saved with no longer purchasing Jepps. I think Jepps charges for information, not paper. Not printing paper ops manuals will save a ton. One direction I haven't heard mentioned at the airline is moving away from printing flight plans which includes route, notams, takeoff data, and weather. If that information could be linked into the iPad, the savings on paper, printers, and ink would be huge.

Agreed. This is a huge part of what we are trying to get going. In order to do so, we need a few more iOS developers to help us out. If you're interested, please let us know! http://www.afairteam.org/ . btw, our squadron already files flight plans electronically. We could do this through our iPads right now, but are looking for a more seamless way to do it. (The whole point is to make the paperwork EASIER to accomplish. Both pre and post-flight.)

The A.I.R. Team

"To be good stewards of the resources that the American taxpayers have entrusted us with by inspiring (A)dvancement, (I)nnovation, and ( R)ecovery."

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

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $9.36 million contract to buy as many as 18,000 Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPad 2s in one of the military’s largest orders of computer tablets.

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. Taking a cue from commercial airlines, the service will use the tablets to replace the bags of paper manuals and navigation charts carried by pilots and navigators.

“Aircrews fly nonstop worldwide missions and require access to flight publications both on and off the aircraft, throughout all phases of flight,” Ferrero said in an e-mail. The so-called electronic flight bags will help crews operate more effectively and safely, and support the Pentagon’s efficiency goals, she said.

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.

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.

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. “It was open to everybody,” she said. “We weren’t going to any specific vendor.”

Edited by LoneWolf121188

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on that note....I had a C-130 approach plate adapter/holder made for the iPad 1 & 2. It has ball & socket joints, and clips that attach directly onto the existing aircraft approach plate attachment point. The iPad is easily removable while the assembly remains clipped to the aircraft approach plate holder. The holder swivels, rotates, and the arm between the two joints can be swapped out for a longer connection (handy on the outboard approach plate attachment points). The connecting arm can be 2", 4", or 6".

Pictures to follow...

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