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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Thomas Spangler

Red Flag offers B-52 crews training that ‘can’t be beat’

Air Force photograph by A1 Class Rachel Loftis A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadon, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., taxis for take off during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 15. The B-52 is a ...
 
 
navy-decommission3

Final West Coast frigate, USS Gary, decommissioned

Navy photograph by POCS Donnie W. Ryanl The guided-missile frigate USS Gary (FFG 51) arrives at Naval Base San Diego after completing its final deployment before decomissioning. During the seven-month deployment Gary operated i...
 
 
Air Force photographby A1C Mikaley Towle

‘Thunder’ rolls at Fort Irwin

Air Force photographby A1C Mikaley Towle An Airman assigned to the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., observes as an A-10 Thunderbolt II circle before landing in support of Green Flag West 15-08.5 o...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>