Commercial airlines have already looked to the tablet to lighten the load of old school flight bags that weigh nearly 40 pounds each, and now the US Air Force is interested in bringing tablets into the cockpit as well. Air Mobility Command (AMC), which is concerned primarily with support missions like airlifts and mid-air refueling, has entered a proposal to purchase anywhere from 63 to 18,000 tablets to use as electronic flight bags. It's not clear which tablet will fill the order, though the AMC does specify that it'll be either an iPad 2 or equivalent device.
Why the iPad 2? When a separate Air Force division announced it was buying 2,861 of Apple's second generation tablet in December, it said that it needed something that worked with two iOS-only apps and had at least 64GB of internal memory — something few competitors can offer. As far as the AMC's potential 18,000 unit tablet purchase is concerned, no deal has been struck — this is just a proposal for the moment — and in an interview with Nextgov, AMC public affairs director Lt. Col. Glen Roberts said that the AMC was interested in all kinds of tablets, not just Apple's offering.