Defense

April 5, 2013

F-22 resumes normal flight operations

Air Force Reserve photograph by TSgt. Dana Rosso Air Force Reserve photograph by TSgt. Dana Rosso
The F-22 Raptor has resumed normal flight operations after modifications to aircrew life-support equipment were completed across the fleet, including the upper pressure garment and related hoses, valves and connectors.

Completion of this task eliminates the need to restrict flight operations to remain within a 30-minute flying distance from an airfield suitable for landing.

F-22 crews have also resumed their aerospace control alert mission in Alaska after the Automatic Back-up Oxygen System was installed in aircraft based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Altitude restrictions have also been incrementally removed for F-22s that have received the ABOS modification. Altitude restrictions for training flights remain for non-ABOS equipped F-22 aircraft; however, those restrictions will be removed as each aircraft is modified.

The return to normal flight operations hinged on completing eight near-term actions identified by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, successful fielding of the modified Combat Edge upper pressure garment valve and fielding of the automatic backup oxygen system. All actions identified by the SAB were completed in December 2012. Fielding of the modified Combat Edge upper pressure garment valve and related pieces was completed in January.

The fielding of the ABOS provides additional protection to F-22 pilots while flying at high altitudes and in the most demanding oxygen-delivery scenarios. The first combat aircraft was modified in January at Nellis AFB, Nev. Elmendorf-assigned Raptors began modifications in February and officials expect combat fleet completion by July 2014.

In May 2011, Air Force officials stood-down the F-22 fleet for four months. This operational pause enabled the Air Force to accelerate efforts to study, define and fix the cause of the reported incidents. After the SAB completed its investigative actions in January 2012, the F-22 Life Support Systems Task Force formed a multiservice, multiagency team of government, industry and academic experts to review previous recommendations and findings. This increased breadth of experience, enhanced scope of knowledge, and additional impartial expert analysis led to the conclusion that a lack of oxygen quantity was causing the physiological incidents. The task force also determined the quality of oxygen was not causing the physiological symptoms reported by F-22 pilots and ground crew.

F-22 aircrews have flown more than 22,270 sorties and more than 27,500 hours since the last previously unexplained incident in March 2012.

Air Force officials will continue to leverage lessons learned throughout the F-22 investigative process and will invest in characterizing and better understanding the high-performance aircraft environment to improve pilot safety and performance in the F-22 and in all current and future weapon systems.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Spy plane outlasts Cold War, but not defense cuts

The U-2 spy plane outlasted the Cold War, outlived its successor and proved crucial a half-century ago when two superpowers were on the brink of nuclear war. But defense cuts now threaten to knock the high-flying reconnaissance aircraft out of the sky. The Air Force wants to gradually retire the fleet of 32 “Dragon Lady”...
 
 

Altus, McConnell AFBs selected to receive KC-46A Pegasus aircraft

Air Force officials announced April 23, that Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is the Air Forces KC-46A Pegasus formal training unit and McConnell AFB, Kansas, is the first active duty-led Pegasus main operating base. The KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker remains one of our top three acquisition priorities, said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee...
 
 
Navy photograph

It is easy being green Green Hornet team strikes, wins environmental excellence award

Navy photograph The Green Hornet flies over Naval Air Station Patuxent River April 22, 2010. On Earth Day 2010, the Super Hornet became the first Navy aircraft to demonstrate alternative fuel capability using a 50/50 blend of c...
 

 
Army photograph

Fifth generation Army tank cartridge reports loudly for duty

Army photograph A new tank cartridge was recently tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Pictured here are: (from left) Kent Evans, TRADOC Capability Manager – Armored Brigade Combat Team; Kevin Mulligan, Armament Researc...
 
 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberí...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>