Prescription for an Ailing F-15

Take a collision-damaged F-15 and send it to the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga., hospital section for life-sustaining surgery. Some 37 blue-suit and civilian mechanics and technicians worked a combined 5,000 man-hours—just over eight months work—to complete extensive repairs to an F-15 damaged in a mid-air collision over the Sea of Japan last year. They replaced the skin and a major wiring harness and made other structural repairs—a new canopy and nose and right vertical stabilizer and ailerons. USAF officials say the key to the whole process was sending civilians along to help disassemble and crate up the aircraft for shipment back to Robins. That, they say, was a first.