ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The F-15 Canopy Shop’s eye for details gives pilots a clear view of the mission.
The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex 572nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron has a team that specializes in providing that clear view.
Having a clean serviceable canopy is important to a pilot’s visibility, said Alberto Garza-Mayer, 572nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron team lead.
“We are set up to be part of the sustainment effort for F-15 aircraft canopies,” said Garza-Mayer. “We are part of the team that does the replacement parts like the canopies, stabilizers or any of the other flight controls that keep F-15 aircraft flying.”
As the aircraft flies missions, the canopy encounters dust and debris from a variety of situations.
“After a while, flying during storms or other types of weather conditions, the canopy will develop hazing to point it will not be serviceable anymore and will need to be replaced,” said Garza-Mayer.
When the F-15 canopies come in from the field, they may need a replacement of glass or complete refurbishment. That’s when Garza-Mayer team goes to work.
“The canopies will get disassembled and de-painted,” said Garza-Mayer. “After it is disassembled, we do a frame inspection check to see if the canopy is still serviceable.”
After the frame inspection, the canopy refurbishment process begins.
“Once the canopy goes through its necessary repairs, it is resealed where the canopy sits on to the airframe,” said Garza-Mayer. “Then all the holes are located to drill. There are about 300 fasteners holes that hold the canopy to the frame. We drill the holes, then trim it to fit within technical order tolerances, make sure it fits, do a final inspection, and install it onto the frame.”
Garza-Mayer said it is a 60-day process to complete a canopy.
“Last year, we averaged six or seven canopies a month, so we were in the 80-plus canopies completion range,” said Garza-Mayer. “This year, the numbers have been lowered, so we have been doing around four canopies a month.”
The F-15 canopy refurbishment is a process Garza-Mayer’s team takes pride in doing.
“We have a lot of pride in what we do, because we know we are the only shop in the Air Force that has this mission,” said Garza-Mayer.