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Hornet corrosion "took us by surprise" says Admiral

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posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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The legacy Hornet fleet (A-Ds) are undergoing a SLEP that will increase them from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours total life cycle, to cover the delays for the F-35 entering service. The Navy planned on doing a straight up parts replacement with the parts that were getting older, but when they opened the aircraft up to do the replacement, they found, and this is a huge shock, large amounts of corrosion. Rear Admiral Michael Manzir, director of air warfare said the amount of corrosion took them by surprise.

The aircraft have so much corrosion they have had to be put aside, and will have to undergo extensive work in a depot level facility to repair them, and do the upgrades. There are 620 legacy aircraft flying, it's not clear how many have suffered corrosion problems, but it's estimated to be at least 100 aircraft through 2020. What makes it worse is that they didn't expect the Hornet to corrode like other aircraft since they had more composites than previous aircraft.


"We had not planned on operating the Hornet past 6,000 hours," he said. "So we did not do the normal corrosion control processes that we used to use on metal airplanes, like the Tomcats, A-6s, A-7s. We understood what corrosion was on metal. The science is different on corrosion on composites."


Because of this, our legacy fleet is in even worse shape than anyone thought, even those that follow things like this closely.

www.military.com...




posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:19 PM
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I don't see how composites would have corroded, but since salt and water are an acid I don't find it surprising. Would be interesting to see what had corroded so bad.

I wouldn't be surprised if the composites actually took up the slack from the frame.
edit on 12-6-2015 by sirChill because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Is the navy's air wing run by the three stooges?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:28 PM
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Where could that sort of corrosion hide on a Hornet where the maintainers couldn`t find it? I can only imagine those guys are like car guys 10x and would go through the entire aircraft every chance they got. Would the USN/MC allow civilian volunteers on rust/corrosion removal detail? Ive done my fair share on cars and trucks and would love to wrench on a F-18.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Zap do you have any idea which parts are corroding ? I didn't see anything mentioned in your source and to me it sounds like fasteners .


Do you know what the rivets and fasteners are made out of on these planes ?
edit on 12-6-2015 by Greathouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:31 PM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: Zaphod58

Is the navy's air wing run by the three stooges?


Cal-lose.

Navy Strategic Air Wing Commander Fired



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: StratosFear

Deep in the internal structure. You don't get to that portion of the airframe except on certain inspections, and some portions are only accessible on a depot level inspection.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:41 PM
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a reply to: Greathouse

That's another screw up. After the aircraft come out of the depot they're essentially one off aircraft, so it's different portions on different aircraft. The corrosion is on the structure, and support members, but there's no pattern to it.
edit on 6/12/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:43 PM
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How the hell do you not conduct CCI near salt water operations?

Where the f are the CEs and leadership on this? How do you get "caught by surprise"?


What a garbage maintenance program these people are running.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:45 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

That's pretty much my reaction too.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:47 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Greathouse

That's another screw up. After the aircraft come out of the depot they're essentially one off aircraft, so it's different portions on different aircraft.



I understood from your source that it's different portions. That was what made me suspect the fasteners ?


Secondly as a mod you guys need to look into replies . Your reply didn't come up on my ATS I hate to assign you multiple tasks but would you look in that please ? Lol



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: Greathouse

No, it's structural. Fasteners could be replaced at the unit level. Structure has to be done at the depot level.

We've heard a few complaints about that. SO is really busy right now, but I'm sure he'll get to it when he has time again. That's something he has to deal with.
edit on 6/12/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:20 PM
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Im in shock as structures are checked on the yearlies via Xray especially for critical members like torque boxes and spars.Sheetmetal frames will have signed off repair schemes and forgings will have limits on material removal so unless they are suffering intergranular corrosion then a replacement is necessary.Sealant and paint breakdown will allow moisture to get in and rot things out as is heat treatment if they were salt bathed instead of oven.
Composites do break down with the sealant holding the laminates together.HiLoks and HiTorque fasteners will fret in the holes as well.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:33 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

One of our old jets is on display at the Tinker Air Park because of corrosion. We did all the checks on it, it went through the depot on a regular basis for reskin, etc. Then one year they stripped the skin at the depot, and found so much corrosion that it wasn't cost effective to repair it. Corrosion can sneak up on you fast as a jet ages.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Never mind. I almost never want to respond to one of your threats again. You always take the exact opposite of anything I say even when I'm starting a conversation . (Sigh)

I suppose those internal components you spoke of that can't be inspected have no fasteners ? Tell me in the airlplane industry what is the number one cause of metal fatigue ?
edit on 12-6-2015 by Greathouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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a reply to: Greathouse

Even the internal fasteners can be done at a unit level. I've seen them done over the years. A phase level inspection will give you access. What they can't do is cut a piece out and replace it, or take the wings off to get to components.

I'm not taking the opposite position of you, simply saying what I've seen from my experience. Corrosion can occur near the fasteners, it can also occur along spars, support members, and frames. I'm sure at least some of the aircraft are seeing corrosion around the fasteners, but the worst of it is in the structural members.
edit on 6/12/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:46 PM
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Tell me in the airlplane industry what is the number one cause of metal fatigue ?

Flying



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:49 PM
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Hmmm... they fly hornets primarily off aircraft carriers and are based in coastal regions. Lots of salt air to fly through. No wonder they get corroded. This is supposed to be shocking?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: Sandcastler

Not to anyone but the Naval leadership.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:52 PM
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I'm sure at least some of the aircraft are seeing corrosion around the fasteners, but the worst of it is in the structural members.

Most structures have an oversized limits on holes so reaming them out is allowable for oversized fasteners.There are a few different types of corrosion as well with some being easy to fix and others are throw away.Rule of thumb was what you can see corrosion wise is only a third of whats there..



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