A Fitting Replacement

Maintainers at Robins AFB, Ga., completed swap-out of a major structural component on a C-5M transport that’s designed to keep the giant airlifter flying safely for decades to come, according to a release. All 52 of the Air Force’s planned fleet of C-5Ms will require replacement of the same component by 2020, states the early November release. It’s called a Batman fitting because of its resemblance to the costume headpiece worn by the fictional comic book character. Weighing about 80 pounds, the 10-foot-wide by four-foot-tall fitting is the primary structural piece that holds the front part of the aircraft’s tail structure, the vertical stabilizer, to the fuselage. Structural fatigue analysis showed that the life expectancy of the current Batman fittings was drawing to a close, states the release. “We needed to do a fleet-wide change to this particular fitting because it’s a high-risk area for aircraft structural failure,” said Andy Ivey, 559th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron planning chief. Work on this C-5M took 108 days and concluded in September. The goal is to install the Batman fitting on the next C-5M in less than 75 days.