Thursday, June 28, 2007

TOP STORY >>Airlift upgrades possible for tactical workhorse

By Airman 1st Class Steele Britton
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The latest in modifications for the Air Force’s tactical workhorse, the C-130 Hercules, is set to debut with the installation of an improved landing gear, carbon brakes and a new anti-skid system.

A team of engineers and specialists from the 463rd Airlift Group here, Hill AFB, Utah, and Headquarters Air Mobility Command, spent three days recently discussing possible modifications and experimenting with braking systems on 21 different aircraft here.

The improvements will benefit the Air Force with a $250 million savings over the lifetime of the anti-skid system.
The projected time-frame to begin this improvement is 2010 with a completion date of 2013.

“The current brakes can handle approximately 200 landings, but with the new system the C-130s will be able to land safely approximately 2,000 times,” said Master Sgt. Kurt Hinman, AMC aircraft hydraulics system manager.

“The wheels will have a longer life; maintenance Airmen won’t have to change systems as often and brake-fires will be greatly reduced. All of these benefits save the Air Force time and money in the long run," Hinman said.

“I have been with the team working on the project for about a year now and I see a high priority on this because the current system is the second oldest system in the C-130 right now,” said Jeremy Goldin, an anti-skid engineer from Hill AFB.

Approximately 600 aircraft will be a part of this improvement, according to Tech. Sgt. Mark Williams, 463rd AG anti-skid team leader.

Knowing that the project isn’t through the complete approval process, the installation won’t come for a few years, said Sgt. Williams; however this is one of the first steps in improving the maintenance side of operations, he said.


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