USMC Attitude to LO Maintenance - Stealthy and Healthy

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spazsinbad

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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: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 12:45

This thread is as good a place as any for this question / related topic -- salt water.

In another thread, someone posted an article referring to the great job the AF maintainers were doing on their current Far East deployment to Kadena AFB. The article quoted an AF enlisted person as saying the guys from Hill were not used to the salt water environment, and that (apparently) after every flight, the pilots had to taxi through the bird bath to rinse off the accumulated salt water.

I don't think LHA/LHD's nor CVNs are equipped with taxi through bird baths... I know that the stealth has, to a large part, been baked in to the F-35 skin -- reference articles talking about the "doormat" to one test squadron being an F-35 skin panel -- so the skin structure is tough/durable. Since all fresh water at sea either has to be made or stored in tanks, I imagine it is at a premium.

How often does the USMC / USN hose down the F-35's? Are they hosed off any more frequently than other aviation assets?
Take an F-16, add a dollop of A-7, a big gob of F-22, sprinkle on some AV-8B, stir well, then bake. What do you get? An F-35.
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 12:58

In a galaxy far far away a question like this was answered but not specifically for the F-35B/C at sea because they have not been on ops yet just testing. However it is likely they will be washed down as other jets for example - the hornetos. So I'll search the forum on the string Oz1OJzcNoFs for where there was some action. CVNs should have plenty of fresh water whilst LHAs - dunno? viewtopic.php?f=22&t=52732&p=361021&hilit=Oz1OJzcNoFs#p361021 & viewtopic.php?f=61&t=24950&p=269812&hilit=Oz1OJzcNoFs#p269812 So you see the wash is not wasteful as one sees in a birdbath ashore but fresh water is available - only your imagination says it is precious & it is. :roll: But it is available as required.

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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 15:25

steve2267 wrote:This thread is as good a place as any for this question / related topic -- salt water.

In another thread, someone posted an article referring to the great job the AF maintainers were doing on their current Far East deployment to Kadena AFB. The article quoted an AF enlisted person as saying the guys from Hill were not used to the salt water environment, and that (apparently) after every flight, the pilots had to taxi through the bird bath to rinse off the accumulated salt water.

I don't think LHA/LHD's nor CVNs are equipped with taxi through bird baths... I know that the stealth has, to a large part, been baked in to the F-35 skin -- reference articles talking about the "doormat" to one test squadron being an F-35 skin panel -- so the skin structure is tough/durable. Since all fresh water at sea either has to be made or stored in tanks, I imagine it is at a premium.

How often does the USMC / USN hose down the F-35's? Are they hosed off any more frequently than other aviation assets?


If you're near the coast on base it's a routine procedure after flights. I've seen old grungy Marine phrogs do it.
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 17:50

steve2267 wrote:This thread is as good a place as any for this question / related topic -- salt water.

In another thread, someone posted an article referring to the great job the AF maintainers were doing on their current Far East deployment to Kadena AFB. The article quoted an AF enlisted person as saying the guys from Hill were not used to the salt water environment, and that (apparently) after every flight, the pilots had to taxi through the bird bath to rinse off the accumulated salt water.

I don't think LHA/LHD's nor CVNs are equipped with taxi through bird baths... I know that the stealth has, to a large part, been baked in to the F-35 skin -- reference articles talking about the "doormat" to one test squadron being an F-35 skin panel -- so the skin structure is tough/durable. Since all fresh water at sea either has to be made or stored in tanks, I imagine it is at a premium.

How often does the USMC / USN hose down the F-35's? Are they hosed off any more frequently than other aviation assets?


Every 10 days we have to fresh water wash the jets when embarked. No different than any other platform. And yes, we’ve done it outside of testing.
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 19:26

:mrgreen: Thanks 'string of numbers I can't remember' :doh: Is this aboard both CVNs & LHAs? Why ten days? Why not 'as required'?
'010137' said: "Every 10 days we have to fresh water wash the jets when embarked. No different than any other platform. And yes, we’ve done it outside of testing."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 21:15

spazsinbad wrote::mrgreen: Thanks 'string of numbers I can't remember' :doh: Is this aboard both CVNs & LHAs? Why ten days? Why not 'as required'?
'010137' said: "Every 10 days we have to fresh water wash the jets when embarked. No different than any other platform. And yes, we’ve done it outside of testing."

Will probably be same for both. There is a time interval in order to make it mandatory to get done, whether “you think” the jet needs it or not. If you make it “as needed” it won’t get done. As you know, the nature of saltwater corrosion is such that you have to continually do upkeep. Jets are washed periodically on land as well.
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 21:46

Thanks. Good point - the mandatory limit. I recall reading that the USN regards LO as part of the weapon system whilst extra maintainers are on F-35C squadrons to maintain that LO aspect. CVNs have no exhaust gases whilst the LHAs will have that corrosive gas issues (probably less corrosive these days from better fuel mix I imagine). Will F-35Bs be usually parked on deck away from the corrosive effect of these ship funnel exhaust gases?

SHAR (Sea Harrier) maintainers used to spray freshwater into the running (at idle) engine at the end of flying ops day. I've read the anti-corrosion features of the F135 work well & are in every variant engine (making the A & C engines the same).
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 23:21

The F-35 has the most complete corrosion control prevention baked into the design, an outstanding monitoring program and has been tested more than I've ever seen or heard of in any legacy aircraft.
see: www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA568516 and www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=11473.

Of course that doesn't stop beancounters (GAO in this case) back in 2010 from b****ing about lack of data to evaluate after Congress directed the services to look at the F-35 in the wake of F-22 corrosion problems ( see: http://www.sae.org/events/dod/presentat ... Peeler.pdf). The investigators simply reported 'not a problem for F-35'.
Nor does the superior CC program prevent muckraking scum from making a big deal out of having to remove and treat a few bolts (such as what happened recently when there was a 'miss' in assembly) before replacing them without also noting that the programs processes in place allowed early detection and fixing.
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Unread post16 Dec 2017, 23:57

Wasp-class LHDs produce 200,000 gallons of fresh water daily so just a matter of allocation between organic and inorganic systems. CVNs double that.
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Unread post17 Dec 2017, 00:35

Agree 'smsgtmac'. After the F-35B/Cs have been at sea some issues may be found by careful inspection, corrosion used to be an insidious problem when older aircraft at sea. As you point out the program has made careful provision for corrosion.

From the summary page of the DTIC PDF above: http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA568516
"...Corrosion is always a systems engineering trade
 Suggests a “corrosion-proof” aircraft is unlikely
 Resulting “corrosion-resistant” design improved over legacy LO aircraft..."

The 'f-16.net' download PDF above says: download/file.php?id=11473
"...Corrosion Prevention & Control Requirement
− The JSF Air System shall be durable, damage tolerant, fault tolerant, fatigue resistant, and corrosion resistant and be capable of being maintained and operated to meet the intended mission usage..."
&
"...Planes expected to follow service standard wash requirements..."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post17 Dec 2017, 02:14

spazsinbad wrote:Agree 'smsgtmac'. After the F-35B/Cs have been at sea some issues may be found by careful inspection, corrosion used to be an insidious problem when older aircraft at sea. As you point out the program has made careful provision for corrosion.

From the summary page of the DTIC PDF above: http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA568516
"...Corrosion is always a systems engineering trade
 Suggests a “corrosion-proof” aircraft is unlikely
 Resulting “corrosion-resistant” design improved over legacy LO aircraft..."

The 'f-16.net' download PDF above says: download/file.php?id=11473
"...Corrosion Prevention & Control Requirement
− The JSF Air System shall be durable, damage tolerant, fault tolerant, fatigue resistant, and corrosion resistant and be capable of being maintained and operated to meet the intended mission usage..."
&
"...Planes expected to follow service standard wash requirements..."


We’re gonna have corrosion problems like any other ac at sea; that’s why washes and preventative measures are still critical. We’re already seeing some and treating them; not a huge deal but not much is impervious to saltwater.
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Unread post17 Dec 2017, 02:44

steve2267 wrote:This thread is as good a place as any for this question / related topic -- salt water.


Yeah, I'll bet no one ever thought of that...

:roll:
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Unread post17 Dec 2017, 03:24

Now I know why Majumdar did not last at USNInews - hanger is not HANGAR: wot aircraft is putin. HoKay? Original post of article is here (good for discussion if pursued?). viewtopic.php?f=58&t=20462&p=232825&hilit=specialized+hanger#p232825
US Navy works through F-35C air-ship integration issues
02 Oct 2012 Dave Majumdar

"...The USN has never operated a stealth aircraft from a carrier deck before, but Moore says he expects that maintaining the F-35C low observable coatings should not be a problem. The USN has developed processes to do the necessary repair work on the carrier's hanger deck without specialized facilities.

"The plane was designed so that the low observable things could be worked on and maintained by the crew itself," Moore says. "Similar to when we went from the [Grumman F-14] Tomcat to the [Boeing F/A-18E/F] Super Hornets."

Unlike the aluminum-skinned F-14 or classic F/A-18A/B/C/D, the Super Hornet is built largely of composite materials. The move to composite material required a complete reworking of the USN's maintenance processes onboard the carrier, Moore says. Similar changes of will be required for when F-35C becomes operational with the USN-particularly with regard to the JSF's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS).

Further, there is no intermediate level of maintenance on the F-35. Therefore, frontline maintenance will be done on the carrier while more complicated maintenance will be done by the original equipment manufacturer, Moore says. While there might be some maintenance facilities needed specifically by the F-35, there will not be specialized facilities needed for low observables repairs. If there is a major defect in an F-35C's coatings, the aircraft will have to be returned to Lockheed for repairs....

...Overall, Moore says that integrating the F-35C onboard ship is no different than integrating any other aircraft."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-377171/

This article could be found on the forum to I suppose - anyhoo here 'tis LO bits.... viewtopic.php?f=57&t=28046&p=305011&hilit=Gigliotti+command#p305011 &
The C at Sea: The F-35 Aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
02 Oct 2015 USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69)

"...In addition to needing a sturdier airframe, the F-35’s stealth coatings must be capable of standing up to the harsh and sometimes unpredictable weather conditions in an at-sea environment. So how does the F-35’s stealth coating hold up?

For almost the last decade, we’ve been putting panels that are made the same way F-35 panels are made on legacy aircraft that are deployed at-sea,” explains Gigliotti [Jim Gigliotti, a Navy Veteran whose 28-year Naval Aviation career included aircraft operations and test tours of duty as well as Command of the Aircraft Carrier USS Harry S Truman (as well as an LM F-35 test pilot)]. “This was meant to check just that – how well do the coatings wear on this aircraft?” In addition, climactic tests have been conducted on the aircraft to ensure it can withstand extreme heat, cold and moisture...."

Source: https://www.f35.com/in-depth/detail/the ... eisenhower
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post25 Feb 2018, 06:24

I AM impressed - USAF Colonel washes F-35A at Eglin AFB (gallery of pics at the URL)
33 FW washes an F-35A
09 Jan 2018 Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson 33rd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

"U.S. Air Force Col. Paul D. Moga, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, cleans an F-35A Lightning II Jan. 8, 2018, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson/Released)"

PHOTO: https://www.dvidshub.net/download/image/4077936 (JPG 6.5Mb)

Source: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4077936/ ... shes-f-35a
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