02/24/2011 – The cost of maintaining 4th generation aircraft is an oft-overlooked aspect of looking at cost of keeping the old and introducing the new. Here are some comments from a blog by an F-22 maintainer who sounds like the Maytag repairman.
All I can tell you is that I work on the F-22 with a ton of 15 guys (there’s only two F-16 guys including myself the other is my DCC thank God) in the whole unit and we get to hear quite a bit of gripe from them when they talk to each other.
From what I heard there are some ups and downs to both. On the 15 you have more specialized folk (not specs) working on the aircraft for you while 16s we pretty much did most of the stuff ourselves i.e. no hydraulic troops, no AR troops, and no Crash Recovery troops. Engines are better at being pulled and stuffed.
F-15 is easier to trouble shoot because of fewer electrics. F-16s are easier to depanel.
They say the 22 is small compared to the 15. Man they have no idea what small is. In the 22 I can stand in the nose wheel (I’m 5’10”) while the 16 I still had to kneel down. They said the AMAD (our ADG)on the 22 is bigger than the one on the 15. When me and the other 16 guy heard them talk about it we kinda just looked at each other and knew what the other one was thinking: they have no freaking clue how freaking small that thing is compared to an ADG.
To be honest the 22 is closer to the 16 then it is the 15 and for that I’m thankful. Course sometimes I wish I could go to the 16 again because the stupid jet doesn’t break. And when it does break its usually specs. And when specs “repair” it they just reboot it and badda bing badda boom jet is “repaired”.
It can be frustrating at times because there is not much for us to do except small stuff. Hell let me tell you guys something. R2 a flight control actuator takes about 45 minutes total and thats including depanel, remove, install, ops check, put panel back on, clean up and sign off. Its beautiful yet frustrating. Kinda like being married I imagine.
The photos show the F-15 being repaired. Stripping Down an F-15E Strike Eagle
Credit: 455th Air Expeditionary Wing,1/24/11
- The first photo shows Staff Sgt. Alexander Lolopulos, 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, inspecting the environmental system on F-15E, Strike Eagle, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 24. Lolopulos ensures there are no leaks or excessive wear and tear on any parts during a phase maintenance inspection.
- The second photo shows Tech. Sgt. Steven Shiflett, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, installing a heat shrink over an electrical wire on F-15E, Strike Eagle, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 24. The phase maintenance inspection ensures aircraft remain operational after 400 flight hours.
- The third photo shows Senior Airman Donald Eldridge, 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron airspace propulsion technician, inspects the engine bay of F-15E, Strike Eagle, for foreign objects during phase maintenance at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 24.
- The fourth photo shows Tech. Sgt. Steven Shiflett, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, installs a heat shrink over an electrical wire on F-15E, Strike Eagle, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 24.
- The final photo shows Staff Sgt. Paul Tabor, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron phase maintainer, removing the right utility pump pressure line from a F15E, Strike Eagle, during a 400 flying hour phase inspection at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Jan. 24.