Defense

May 3, 2013

New parachute test to provide AC-130 aircrew with the best

Tags:
Jet Fabara
412th Test Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Monreal, 418th Flight Test Squadron NCOIC of the Test Parachuting Program, deploys the Low Profile parachute after exiting a SC.7 Skyvan during a LPP test April 12, 2013 over the Edwards Farm Dropzone. The Low Profile Parachute is intended to replace the BA-22 parachute which is currently configured for use in the AC-130 gunship.

There’s a lot to be said by AC-130 gunship aircrew members who are proud of their heavily armed aircraft.

These aircraft have the latest in sophisticated weapons, high tech sensors, navigation and fire control systems; however, it lacked one thing – a lightweight parachute that was agile enough for the entire crew to use.

Thanks to the work of the Aircrew Performance Branch Program Office, part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Agile Combat Support Directorate, and testing completed in April by the Global Reach Combined Test Force Test Parachutist Program, crew members aboard AC-130s will now have a lightweight alternative, the Low Profile Parachute.

“The LPP program is success story for Air Force Materiel Command’s newly established five-center construct. The five centers, which report directly to AFMC, include Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Test Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, and Air Force Sustainment Center,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Lemanski, AFLCMC Aircrew Performance Branch†program manager. “The men and women of two of these centers, AFLCMC and AFTC, worked very closely to select and test a low-cost, commercially available emergency egress parachute suitable for the AC-130 community. Within AFLCMC, the Aircrew Performance Branch is responsible to the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Agile Combat Support for acquiring LPPs within cost, schedule and performance requirements and timelines.”

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Mensch, 418th FLTS parachute test jumper, exits a SC.7 Skyvan with a Low Profile parachute April 12, 2013 over the Edwards Farm Dropzone. The Low Profile Parachute is intended to replace the BA-22 parachute which is currently configured for use in the AC-130 gunship.

“Ultimately, AC-130 crew members needed a chute that was easy to walk around with while they executed their mission and they needed a parachute rig that was lighter and slimmer,” added Tech. Sgt. Joe Monreal, 418th FLTS NCOIC of Test Parachutist Program, who was also a test jumper during the test phase of the LPP. “After carefully going through the research, planning and selection phase in 2010, the LPP eventually proved to be the best alternative.”

According to Monreal, the LPP is intended to replace the BA-22 parachute which is currently configured for use in the AC-130 and weighs approximately 40 pounds, depending on the configuration.

“In addition to weighing nearly one-half of the BA-22, this new parachute will help save the Air Force money on the purchase price of emergency chutes and on the repacking cycle, but more importantly, it will help save lives of crew members that may find themselves in an egress situation,” added Monreal.

With the execution phase beginning in early February 2012, the team of test jumpers, flight test engineers, human factors engineers, rigger support specialists and drop zone safety officers, all said that to get to the completion phase, extensive training had to be completed before any of the test jumpers could don the LPPs.

“Before we could perform actual jumps, we first had to accomplish wind tunnel training in Perris, Calif., with the parachutes,” Monreal said.
“After this, we outfitted dummies with the LPPs and used a World War II B-25 Bomber and SC.7 Skyvan to drop them out of the bomb bay. Soon after this, we began staging out of the California City airport in order to execute live drops at the Edwards Farm Drop Zone.”

During the duration of the test, the team flew approximately 55 sorties with challenges along the way, according to Monreal.

“Some minor malfunctions, such as line twists, were experienced, not to mention some hard openings at high speeds and some hard landings, so you can say we all definitely earned our pay,” said Monreal. “But, in the end, we all feel that this new system will help AC-130 aircrew members across the Air Force accomplish the mission more effectively and safely.”




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


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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>