Defense

November 4, 2013

Maintainers use ultrasound to keep KC-10s ready to fly

Tags:
SSgt. Patrick Harrower
Travis AFB, Calif.

SSgt. Rebecca Linden de Romero, 60th Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspection shop technician, performs an ultrasound inspection inside the control box for the elevators on the tail of a KC-10 Extender Oct. 22 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

When most people hear the term ultrasound, they might think of the machine that helps monitor the health and development of the early stages of life.

For the airmen of the 60th Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspections shop, an ultrasound inspection can be surprisingly similar to that.

According to one technician, inside the tail section of a KC-10 Extender is a control box that can be moved up and down, which in turn, causes the elevators on the tail to move. The location of the control box is difficult to get to. The area is cramped, dark and can get warm. However, much like any other aircraft component, it still must be inspected regularly.

“Every KC-10 gets this inspection every 90 days,” said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Linden de Romero, 60th MXS. “We use ultrasound technology to see what is going on inside the panels of the box. The sound reflects through the surface and back to the machine where we can track any cracks or other potential problems the naked eye cannot see.”

To maintain total accuracy, the technicians use standard blocks that are made with the same material and physical dimensions as the parts on the aircraft, Linden de Romero said. These blocks are used to calibrate the ultrasound equipment before the inspection to give the technicians a frame of reference for exactly what they should see.

Linden de Romero commented that the measurements must be precise, as the condition of the plane can be based on them. If the technicians find a problem that deems the aircraft bad, it must go to another base for higher-level repair.

Accuracy aside, there also is a physical component that presents a unique challenge to the technicians when they perform an ultrasound.

“We can inspect 98 percent of the area just fine,” said TSgt. Zach Williams, 349th MXS. “But for 100 percent coverage, someone needs to go inside of the box. Our whole shop could be fully qualified to do the inspection, but if nobody can physically get in there, we can’t call the job complete.”

The 60th MXS nondestructive inspections shop spends a lot of time ensuring technicians know how to perform an ultrasound inspection, he said.

“We have gotten so proficient at this inspection that we have a lot of engineers come to us to have a set of Travis eyes check their work before they go somewhere else,” Williams said. “It’s a real confidence booster.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




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>