By Heather Wilburn, Fleet Readiness Middle East
CHERRY POINT — New take a look at gear at Fleet Readiness Middle East has positioned the ability to assist alleviate one of many high degraders to V-22 Osprey readiness.
The brand new take a look at stand, which checks the performance of the V-22 swashplate actuator, cuts testing time in half to provide “prepared for situation” parts for the provision chain. The swashplate actuator is a flight-critical management that guides the plane’s rotors. With the element’s presence on the V-22 degrader listing, on daily basis it’s in course of counts.
“Getting this bench right here into manufacturing has been excessive on my precedence listing, and it’s already making a distinction in our throughput,” FRC East Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Nieto stated. “Now now we have the gear; if we will overcome challenges within the provide chain, I do know our artisans can do much more.”
The swashplate actuator’s place on the degraders listing drove the push to face up the brand new take a look at system at FRC East, stated John Hinson, head of the Upkeep, Restore and Overhaul Engineering Take a look at Gear Engineering department. The legacy take a look at stand – the V-22 hydraulic actuator take a look at stand, or VHATS – doesn’t permit FRC East to declare prepared for situation standing on the examined swashplate actuators. Actuators that handed testing at FRC East need to be despatched to Moog, the element’s authentic gear producer, with a purpose to obtain the RFI declaration.
A public-private partnership with Moog will change this course of.
“One of many large advantages of this take a look at stand is that Moog, the corporate that constructed this stand, can be the OEM for the swashplate actuator and shall be utilizing this very same stand,” Mr. Hinson stated. “We’ll be testing on the very same take a look at stand, operating the very same software program because the element OEM.”
Utilizing the identical setup will get rid of any discrepancy in take a look at outcomes and may permit for a lot simpler comparability, Mr. Hinson added.
“So far as testing consistency and guaranteeing we’re testing precisely how the OEM is testing; there’s no query there,” he stated. “The truth that we have been working with the element OEM gave us a greater product in the long run.”
Along with improved accuracy, the brand new stand additionally mitigates issues relating to throughput and capability. The brand new stand produces time financial savings within the testing itself and, as a result of it exams the V-22’s flaperon and elevator actuators, additionally manufactured by Moog, it frees up the VHATS system for testing different parts.
“This take a look at stand is superb for the V-22 platform,” defined Travis Lowe, parts program supervisor in MRO Logistics at FRC East. “It lowers our run time for testing in half, permitting the depot to have extra throughput on swashplate actuators. It additionally takes the workload off the VHATS stand so we will enhance throughput on different V-22 valves and actuators.”
William Touchette, a pneudraulics system mechanic at FRC East, stated he has seen the take a look at time diminished by virtually half. Acceptance testing procedures, which took a minimal of six hours on VHATS, and generally longer, can now routinely be accomplished in underneath three and a half hours.
“Operating the actuators on VHATS, I may possibly get one examined out in an eight-hour interval, if it was good,” he stated. “Now I can take two and take a look at them out in that very same eight-hour interval. If now we have the elements and might construct them, that’s virtually doubling our output.”
Getting the take a look at stand operational at FRC East required an all-hands effort, with gamers from throughout the board. Whereas processes ranged from procurement to set up to calibration, and challenges together with the coronavirus pandemic generally made for gradual progress, the purpose remained regular: make a distinction in naval aviation readiness.
“Everybody on this group right here – services, manufacturing, engineering and the Fleet Help Workforce – did an incredible job getting it arrange and operating,” Capt. Nieto stated. “They needed to soar over plenty of hurdles to get to the place they’re at, they usually did it. I’m actually pleased with them.”