First F-15 rewire plane clears functional test

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78 ABW/PA
Small red letters stenciled on the side of an F-15 Eagle getting prepped for a test flight last week indicated its importance.

"Rewire 1 of 10 of 2010," the letters read on the side of Tail No. 86178.

The aircraft is the first to be finished under the program which will completely replace the wiring in 115 F-15 aircraft over the next five years. Maj. Dan Badia, test pilot, flew the aircraft as dozens who worked on the rewire watched the plane take off. The planes are simultaneously undergoing programmed depot maintenance.

The first test flight returned with only three minor write-ups.

"That is excellent for a completely rewired jet," said Keith Gilstrap, rewire flight chief.

He also noted no wiring issues were discovered during functional test, in which the aircraft is put through extensive testing and engine run-up to try to find any problems prior to the first test flight. The aircraft cleared on the third test flight. On average it takes 2.4 test flights to clear an F-15 after PDM, said George Reid, F-15 Test Flight chief.

Ordinarily in PDM wires are only replaced as needed, but the hundreds of wires in the aging planes targeted for rewire are being replaced to reduce maintenance downtime in the field. The rewire flight is a new unit set up specifically for that purpose.