Defense

March 28, 2014

Ogden ALC completes organic mods on first F-35

Richard W. Essary
Hill AFB, Utah

The Ogden Air Logistics Complex completed the Air Force’s first-ever organic depot modifications on an F-35 Lightning II.
The F-35A variant aircraft, arrived at Hill Air Force Base†in mid-September 2013, and received four structural modifications intended to strengthen areas of the aircraft and extend its service life.

Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker Sr., the Ogden ALC commander, credited the phenomenal teamwork that occurred between the Ogden ALC, Lockheed Martin and F-35 Joint Program Office for successfully completing the modifications.

“It was a team effort with the Ogden ALC providing the touch labor and Lockheed Martin providing engineering support,” Baker said.
The aircraft departed March 26 for Nellis AFB, Nev., where it will undergo continued operational testing.

Baker said this first F-35 aircraft was what’s called a prototype modification aircraft because in the process of outfitting the modifications, the depot was also able to solidify its technical processes.

This was the first time the Ogden ALC accomplished depot work on the aircraft, and new and improved ways of doing the modifications were discovered. In the end, each of the findings will formally be rolled into improving the existing technical guidance, Baker said, which will be used for subsequent F-35 repairs.

More than 30 Ogden ALC maintainers and 17 Lockheed Martin engineers and production staff accomplished the modifications under the umbrella of a public-private partnership.

“When it comes to Air Force depot maintenance on the F-35, the vast majority of the learning and experience is happening right here at the Ogden ALC,” Baker said.

The first of the four structural modifications made to the aircraft included a root rib modification, which replaces a section of the aircraft’s wing root rib with a titanium splice. The other modifications, also structural, involved a station 3/9 modification, a mid-fairing fitting, and a forward engine mount modification, all of which are intended to extend the life of the aircraft.

The process concluded with a series of functional check flights to ensure the modifications were performed correctly and that other systems on the aircraft unrelated to the changes were not disturbed.

The Ogden ALC received its second Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, a Dutch F-35, on Feb. 14. A third U.S.-owned jet arrived on March 15.

The Dutch aircraft is expected to undergo three of the four modifications performed on the first aircraft before it returns to Eglin AFB, Fla., for more operational testing this summer. It will not get the engine mount modification, but is receiving a major modification to the fuel boost pumps.

This second aircraft is more of a validation/verification aircraft, Baker said, which means that while it’s getting the planned modifications, the skilled artisans who work on the aircraft will continue to validate and verify that the formalized technical guidance is 100 percent accurate.

The Ogden ALC is expected to perform the series of modifications on a total of six aircraft this fiscal year. Eight F-35s are expected to be inducted into the depot in FY15.

Baker said it took more than two years to prepare the Ogden ALC for this new F-35 depot work and as workload increases, manning is also expected to increase.

The F-35 is important for the Air Force and Hill AFB, Baker said, because the F-35 will eventually be the heir to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The Ogden ALC already performs depot maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification on the F-16 and A-10.

“It is exciting to see this entire plan come to fruition and work on the aircraft.” Baker said. “It has been incredibly rewarding for the team.”




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


 
 

 
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...
 
 

TSgt promotion release delayed to allow system validation

Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System, officials announced. The 15E6 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Recent...
 

 

Freedom completes rough water trials

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom completed Seakeeping and Structural Loads Trials, commonly referred to as Rough Water Trials in late March the Navy reported May 21. The U.S. Navy must demonstrate the seaworthiness and structural integrity of each new ship class. One of the primary ways the Navy verifies these qualities is through a...
 
 

Air Force releases Strategic Master Plan

The Air Force officially released the Strategic Master Plan May 21, which is the latest in a series of strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training and equipping of the force over the coming decades. The SMP builds on the strategic imperatives and vectors described in the capstone document, America’s Air Force: A Call...
 
 

HYT extension possible for SrA-MSgt in 35 career fields

Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants in 35 Air Force specialties will be able to apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT. The Air Force is introducing several personnel and manpower initiatives to...
 




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>