News>Together Again: C-130H gets new nose from donor aircraft
Chris Grimsley, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron sheet metal worker, applies sealant Wednesday during the C-130H nose remarriage. Grimsley lead a team of engineers and mechanics who pieced the aircraft together. The aircraft is one of two C-130H models scheduled to be delivered to the Afgan Air Force this year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ed Aspera)
6/13/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Another successful first at Robins is now in the books. Three months ago a C-130H nose was separated from its fuselage in Bldg. 110. On Tuesday, 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group maintainers re-attached a different nose from a donor aircraft, paving the way for an end-of-year delivery of the C-130H to the Afghan Air Force.
"Our talented technicians and mechanics have once again proven they can accomplish anything. The entire maintenance, support and engineering team made this difficult task look simple, and are returning a once severely damaged aircraft back into a mission-capable combat capability for our FMS partners," said Jim Russell, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron director.
While the task could best be described as tedious at times, the re-attachment was accomplished in about an hour, with sheet metal workers then working on manually re-inserting the 364 bolts needed to hold the new nose and fuselage in place. Each bolt, varying in size and shape, comes with its own set of washers, nuts and other parts to ensure it's securely fitted in place.
The bolts will be secured over the next week.
Once the bolts are attached, next up will be putting back all of the aircraft's eight hydraulic lines, four air conditioning ducts, two oxygen lines, flight control cables and wiring over a three-week period.
When all structural work is completed, the aircraft will then undergo an isochronal inspection along with engine work, continued application of a corrosion prevention compound, floorboards will be installed, and primary flight controls will be installed, according to Scott Latimer, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's Center Wing Box Fixtures team lead.
Continuity checks will also be performed, taking up a significant amount of time as well.
Once those repairs are wrapped up, the cargo plane - which dates back to 1974 - will be better than new, including having a new center wing box.
Due to a hard landing, the C-130H experienced major structural damage to its nose. An engineering team from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, along with C-130 maintainers, worked over the last few months to remove that nose, replacing it from a second donor aircraft which was scheduled to be retired.
A team from Robins had previously visited Lockheed Martin in Marietta to learn how maintainers there had performed the assembly operation.
A second C-130H bound for Afghanistan is also on station, scheduled for a standard programmed depot maintenance package.
To view additional photos and a video of this week's event, visit www.robins.af.mil or the official Robins Facebook page.