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Marines scrounging parts from the museum to keep planes flying!

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posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: grey580

I worked for a company that has been around since 1890. Some of their products haven't changed since 1900. As the junior engineer one of my problems was finding materials and components for some of these because our original suppliers went out of business. Machined parts were easy. It was things like rubber tubing, leather gaskets and filter paper.

3D printing has come a long way, but, it is not ready to do structural components yet. If you 3D print a gun barrel with a laser sintering device, you shoot it. I'll watch from a distance with a first aid kit.




posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

NASA and SpaceX were using laser sintering to make rocket parts. So I imagine they are at a stage where it's useable enough.

And take a look at this.

3dprint.com...

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: grey580

Do you know how expensive that would be?



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Very expensive.

Some of those laser sintering machines are in the millions. And they'd need quite a few to produce anything in quantity.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 02:54 PM
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a reply to: grey580

Just the airframe and time to take it apart would be prohibitively expensive and take the best part of a year if they did that every day, probably more like two or three.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Some of the stories that I just read about yours and some of the other members experiences gave me the creeps, big time. This sounds more like a 3rd world military than the most powerful military in the history of civilization. I can't believe the games you guys had to play just to keep the paper pushers happy.

Now with respect to custom manufacturing of parts, there have to be CAD drawings somewhere. I was using CAD 30 years ago, so I know DOD contractors had to have been using them. All of those data and drawings had to be part of the deliverables when the military took delivery of the weapons systems.

I'm sure there are any number of machine shops that would jump at the chance to making small quantities of those parts. Even non-metal parts like gaskets and hoses can be manufactured without having to spend millions of dollars on manufacturing equipment. Even a few million dollars for a metal sintering 3D printer that can be used to make parts on an as needed basis is a worthwhile investment when you look at the money being wasted trying to make it look like unusable aircraft are still in service.

On the other hand, when the DOD applies all of its cluster frack appurtenances to the project it'll become another billion dollars in the pocket of some senior corporate member of the military-industrial-complex.

I think it's almost comical that the military services have to bring civilians to the ships and bases to service some of the equipment. What happens when these places are in a war zone? A critical piece of equipment breaks down and you have to wait for the civilian contractor to find a volunteer and then fly them to the area. I guess you just get on the radio and ask the Chinese to hold off on their bombardment while you get your jet engine dynamometer repaired!

Anyway, I had to rant about this for a minute to relieve the stress I felt after reading those horror stories. Thanks for your time.


-dex



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

Don't get too stressed out. It's bad but it's even worse in other countries. Russia is lucky they were able to operate as long as they did in Syria. The US is still the most potent Air Force in the World by a sizable margin.
edit on 24-3-2016 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

The older drawings are usually destroyed or lost by now. The youngest B-52 was built in 1962, and the KC-135s aren't much younger.

It's not as bad as all that. It's frustrating because it's been going on so long and so many people are learning the wrong lessons and are only after the latest shiny new toy instead of taking care of what we have.
edit on 3/24/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3/24/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 08:28 PM
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You might not need the CAD drawings.

If you have the part you could do a 3D scan of the part which would produce a CAD drawing.



This is one of the upcoming technologies I was talking about.

Sure it's probably just a fantasy. But it's one that could be done.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 09:18 PM
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Last month in the air force times they had an article saying that they don`t have enough crews or crew leaders to service the planes. it said that planes sit for months waiting to be serviced because they have over %20 fewer crews and crew leaders than they need.
I think the U.s> is going to be in serious trouble if they get into a real war.If these little regional wars are putting a strain on their resources imagine what will happen if a real war breaks out( like WW2 size war)
The problem seems to be that the new planes like the F-22 aren`t getting new crews the air force is pulling existing crews off of other aircraft and retraining them meanwhile there are no crews to replace the ones that are being pulled.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Don't get too stressed out. It's bad but it's even worse in other countries. Russia is lucky they were able to operate as long as they did in Syria. The US is still the most potent Air Force in the World by a sizable margin.
I don't doubt that at all. And I suppose I should expect this type of cluster frack from the US government. We've seen this type of ineptitude far too often.

I think that what annoys me the most about this is that the biggest chunk of US discretionary spending is for the DOD. I understand the ever increasing need for newer weapons systems. But maintaining existing deployed weapons should still take top priority. Our state of military readiness is based on the existing inventory, not the high-tech toys that are scheduled to roll off the assembly line "any time now."

But thanks for the comforting remarks. Sometimes I get too stressed out over things I have no control over. But it felt good to rant.


a reply to: Zaphod58

The older drawings are usually destroyed or lost by now. The youngest B-52 was built in 1962, and the KC-135s aren't much younger.
That doesn't surprise me. One would assume that the DOD would be better than that. I'm a pack rat and I still have store receipts older than most of the F-18s still flying.



It's not as bad as all that. It's frustrating because it's been going on so long and so many people are learning the wrong lessons and are only after the latest shiny new toy instead of taking care of what we have.
Yeah, I'm sure that my mind is blowing this way out of proportion. But those horror stories just pissed me off. However, this does beg the question: What will it take to change this culture of always going after the latest and greatest toys while ignoring deployed weapons?

Thanks,
-dex



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

The drawings were kept and stored by the companies, not the DoD. The DoD has the Technical Orders and some information of course, but the design stuff was with the companies.

If you want to change the culture, then they have to start selecting CSAF from something other than fighter pilots. I can count the non fighter pilots that have filled that past on one hand and use most of my fingers for other things.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 10:50 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: DexterRiley
If you want to change the culture, then they have to start selecting CSAF from something other than fighter pilots. I can count the non fighter pilots that have filled that past on one hand and use most of my fingers for other things.


You may be in for a nice surprise there in the near future if the rumor mill is correct.



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 11:03 PM
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a reply to: justwanttofly

They're not going to have s choice. The fighter guys have screwed things into knots so now it's up to everyone else to fix it. Decades of the fighter first mentality has got us where wet are.

Granted the first tanker debacle wasn't the fault of the fighter mentality, but someone should have had the balls to say that was a stupid idea and stand up. We should be dropping the KC-Y RFP, not barely be into the KC-X program.
edit on 3/24/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 11:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I hope you are right, I would like to see some of those snazzy BWB designs become reality



posted on Mar, 29 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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Announcement from the 3D printer world.


The industrial series production is gathering pace. With its investment, Premium Aerotec is following the plans of Airbus. According to Peter Sander (Airbus, Head of Emerging Technologies & Concepts), Airbus is planning to print one ton of metal powder a month in 2018.
...
The core aspects of the working relationship are also the further industrialization of the laser melting process for applications in aviation, the further development of the plant and process technology and the QA systems, as well as the qualification of new powder alloys.

Source: MakePartsFast Airbus begins production of metal parts made through additive manufacturing

So maybe not "right here now" but this talk has been about printing machined parts for the past few years. Traditional 3D printers create too fine level detail so the idea is to make parts close to size then finish back down.

If it is good enough for Airbus others will follow suit.



posted on Mar, 29 2016 @ 05:43 PM
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Its not just the Lawn darts... B-52's we had stripped every H model in the boneyard of parts that were still usable, and were working our way through the G models. Luckily we had an experiment going at Barksdale when I left in 2000ish where people refurbished electronic parts on base, that was helping but really wasnt keeping up.

KC-135 we had issues finding parts as well..

B-1... well for a plane they stopped production of what 3 times.... supply did pretty well, but we often were waiting on a part to be found... or waiting on a part that would actually fit the air plane that needed it.



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