Monday, July 8, 2013

F-22 Raptor - Everything Can Happen

According to an Air Force power point briefing provided to POGO, earlier this month at 0815 on April 10th, the controls on an F-22A at Langley Air Force Base showed that the aircraft’s canopy wasn’t locking. After several attempts at opening and closing the canopy, on the final try it locked and jammed – trapping the pilot inside. According to the briefing, the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit then “consulted Lockheed Martin and the F-22A System Program Office to determine alternative methods to open the canopy and extract the pilot.”

The mission was accomplished approximately five hours later. As you can see from the pictures here, while the “alternative method” ultimately used was fairly cheap (click here and scroll to the last picture at the bottom), the resulting damage wasn’t–according to the briefing slides, the cost of canopy replacement will run $182,205. (But after tens of billions of dollars, what’s another $182,205?)

As one of our sources puts it, the episode “raises a very interesting maintainability issue.”

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