Science and Technology News

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Robins partners with AMC in new iPad initiative

78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

4/5/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Some Air Force aircraft are now a touch bit lighter when airborne, thanks in part to the work of software engineers here.

Since February, a number of C-5, C-17 and C-130 aircrews have been using iPads instead of bulky manuals, charts and other reference materials to help pilot and maintain their aircraft. The 578th Software Maintenance Squadron is sustaining and maintaining those iPads, as well as developing associated apps, as part of Air Mobility Command's 'Electronic Flight Bag' initiative.

For instance, the squadron is currently converting PC-based Windows programs already in use in the cockpit to apps for the iPad.

"Aircrews regularly take laptops onto aircraft to run applications such as Weight and Balance and Take Off and Land Data," said Rob Frisch, the 578th's program manager for app development. "We are now converting these for use on the iPad."

The 578 SMXS is also looking to automate many of the forms crews have to fill out to gauge the health of aircraft before taking off.

"The 402nd Software Maintenance Group wants to take a lead role as tablet-based technology rolls out to our Airman and as new technologies become available for the warfighter," said Wayne Osborn, director of the SMXG -- the 578th's parent organization.

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