The NYT is running an article titled To Save Fuel, Airlines Find No Speck Too Small.
The gist of the article is that every pound of weight carried cost the airlines extra for fuel. The article quotes this figure: "Every 25 pounds we remove, we save $440,000 a year"
The article had the following discussion about paper manuals on the plane:
Up in the cockpit, Delta is studying whether it is feasible to divide the heavy pilot manuals required on each flight between the captain and first officer, so pilots are not toting duplicate sets of five or six books that each weigh about a pound and a half.
Eventually, the airline wants to eliminate printed manuals and display the information on computer screens, a step the government would have to approve.
How about putting the manuals on a 9 ounce Sony Reader or a 10 ounce Kindle?