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Four JSTARS grounded after Depot work

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posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:32 AM
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Four E-8Cs have been grounded by the Air Force after a number of problems have occurred. All the aircraft that have had problems, including these four have recently gone through the Depot for checks. The groundings occurred after officials noticed an increase in incidents, most of which were relatively minor (Class C or D), but one Class A, which is significant.

This isn't the first time the JSTARS fleet has had Depot problems. In 2009, 93-0597 suffered $25M in damage after the Depot left plugs in a fuel tank. When they refueled after takeoff on a mission in the Middle East the wing ruptured. The current aircraft are being inspected at the unit level for any safety of flight issues after work was completed.

www.defensenews.com...




posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58



When they refueled after takeoff on a mission in the Middle East the wing ruptured.


That was nasty..



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

How old are those airframes now?



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: Donkey09

Old as hell. All but one of them are converted commercial 707s, and that one is a converted C-137.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So you're talking about 40+ year old airframes on high demand aircraft. I know these were depot related problems this time but I guess when you have an aircraft that's got to be as maintenance intensive as this there's going to be problems.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: Donkey09

That's one of the things driving the replacement program. They're getting harder and harder to maintain. Parts are getting more and more scarce as old 707s are being scrapped and destroyed.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Another case of the airforce not recapitalising airframes when needed and pushing back replacement programs?

Seems like there's an awful lot of new kit needed all at the same time.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: Donkey09

More like, higher mission tempo than expected putting more time than planned on the airframes.
edit on 9/26/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

In retrospect, it's kind of shocking to me that they chose to use clapped-out old 707 airframes in the first place. Even DC-10 airframes brought up to KC-10 specs would have had fewer hours and more life left in them.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Cost. The 707 was cheaper and at the time they had plenty of parts in inventory with the C-137 and E-3 fleet. They were supposed to be replaced by the E-10 but that got canned.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 03:02 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'm kind of surprised that the E-8 was stuck with 707's for cost reasons, given the political climate the birthed the J-STARS program (and the kind of budgets that were given to all the cool stuff from 1986-1994 that we STILL haven't seen). Then again, the "Reagan's secret toy fund" might be exactly why the white E-8 program had to get by on so little dough.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 07:07 PM
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The aircraft have been returned to service. All the problems found could be fixed on station. This was brought about based on a trend noticed after aircraft came back, as well as an aircraft that suffered major damage to the radar, after condensation built up. The plugs to allow the water to drain were left in and the water damaged the assembly.




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