USMC Attitude to LO Maintenance - Stealthy and Healthy

Design and construction
  • Author
  • Message
User avatar


Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 19381
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post07 Dec 2017, 18:04

Full 12 page PDF article is elsewhere in this forum in the F-35 UNITs subsection.

Go here: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=53007&p=382733&hilit=father#p382733
VMFA-211 Wake Island Avengers F-35B USMC Combat Aircraft Monthly Jan 2018 pp12.pdf
Download 12 page PDF: download/file.php?id=26042 (PDF 2.13Mb)
Wake Island Avengers
Jan 2018 Jamie Hunter

"...Stealthy and healthy
Being out on deck, deployed for long periods, not to mention slapping external pylons on and performing maintenance — it all clearly takes its toll on the stealthy external surfaces of the F-35. Damaging the skin is a huge concern, especially as the USMC aspires to maintain 100 per cent low-observable (LO) integrity for its entire F-35 fleet. All the squadron’s aircraft are ‘go-to-war’ assets — there’s no difference between the way the training squadrons operate and they way the front line operates.

The USMC attitude is: if you’re paying for a stealthy aeroplane, you might as well keep it stealthy.

Vaughn says that LO maintenance isn’t as much of a headache as some expected, and attributes much of this to the internal maintenance teams within each squadron. ‘It’s about having a fifth-generation way of thinking and approaching this,’ he explains. ‘The way our maintenance publications are written is that the job isn’t complete — the airplane is not fixed — until the LO is restored on it. That’s been learned from prior stealthy platforms where maybe the LO wasn’t always maintained and it was deferred. Certain F-35 panels do have deferrals on them, which means we can wait a certain number of days before the LO is fully restored. Some have a five-day deferral. It means we might finish the bulk of the job on a Monday, which gives us a few days to fly the jet ‘green’, as we call it. Then we’ll have a crew come in on Friday or Saturday to fix the LO so it can cure over the weekend, and by Monday it’s fully ready to go.’

Certain panels don’t require any LO maintenance — they’re panels the maintainers have to get into all the time. Others require some LO restoration, but Vaughn says, ‘it just becomes the way of doing business.’ Maintainers at VMFA-211 acknowledge that while most procedures are relatively straightforward, others — such as changing a wingtip navigation light — are overly complex, time-consuming and frustrating. Vaughn says experience is enhancing the procedures massively when it comes to maintaining the aircraft. ‘There was a panel that required a lot of switch-outs because of wear and tear and it meant we were having to regularly replace them, and they were in short supply. Our maintainers said they thought that they could fix it in-house. They demonstrated their fix, we sent it off to the JPO [Joint Program Office], who analyzed it and approved it. So there’s a huge saving right there thanks to our enterprising young sergeants.’..."

Source: Combat Aircraft Volume 19 Number 1
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: AND

Return to F-35 Design & Construction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: krorvik and 2 guests