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DVIDS – News – Metals Technology Airmen reduce two year wait time to two months critical part production

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho – A little over a year ago, an F-15E Strike Eagle attempted to land on this base airline. When it began to land, the landing gear under the aircraft immediately collapsed, damaging several structural components that housed the landing gear mounts. Although no one was injured or killed, this resulted in the plane being shot down for extensive maintenance and has been stuck on that base ever since.

On July 6, 2021, planes of the 366 began. A pin carrier houses the main landing gear strut, in which the landing gear swivels when it is lowered and raised.

“The spigot is zero in AF inventory and must be machined and manufactured by an ‘on demand’ supplier with a long lead time of two years,” said Master Sgt. John Doyle, head of the 366th MXS Metals Section. “That alone brought the project to a standstill, and if Metals Technology wasn’t based here, this jet would continue to sit.”

The Metals Technology section is located on Fabrication Flight at 366th MXS. They are known for making parts from raw metal material that can aid in aircraft repairs and aerospace ground equipment. Your most recent assignment is to make a trunnion carrier in a month. This is the first time anyone at the Air Force field level has tried to make a part as complicated as this.

“We can manufacture or repair anything within reason,” said Senior Airman Luke Haener, 366th MXS Metals Technology journeyman. “Our job is closest to engineering, without being called engineers, because we have to work with blueprints and think critically about how this part can improve the situation once it is made.”

To make a trunnion carrier, Metals Technology’s aviators use a Computer Numeric Control Machine (CNC). This machine uses a different type of cutting tool and with careful calculations and coordinate data entered into the machine, it will respond accordingly and make precise cuts on every block of material that the fliers put into the machine.

“That will be the only other challenge on this project,” said Staff Sgt. Glenn Brown, 366th MXS Metals Technology craftsman. “That’s why we have the plastic versions as prototypes for the pin carrier. We need to make it as true to size as possible because of the complexity of the part we’re making. ”

After they’re done with the plastic prototypes and checking that the correct cuts have been made, they go to a block of aluminum and have the CNC machine cut it exactly as before, creating the tenon support.

The Depot Field team normally produces this type of part, but due to the long lead times of three other approaches to sourcing this part, Metals Technology’s aviators are trying to produce it on site. Upon completion of the product, a depot field team will install the newly manufactured trunnion carrier on the aircraft.

Although part of this caliber has never been achieved on the base before, the Metals Technology Airmen are up to the opportunity and have expanded their knowledge and preparedness for future challenges.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Staff Sgt. Glenn Brown, 366th MXS Metals Technology craftsman. “On this basis, where for the first time we had the opportunity to take part in some projects at our maintenance level in order to have something of this caliber, we were able to gain experience, trust and miles” ahead of what we would normally learn if we did would simply have stayed at our immediate level. ”

Recording date: 07/19/2021
Release Date: 07/19/2021 7:25 PM
Story ID: 401240
Place: MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, ID, US

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