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.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




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>