Air Force Research Lab scientists working at Little Rock AFB, Ark., are testing the potential of heat and humidity to destroy simulated biological agents contaminating an airframe. Using a decommissioned C-130 that is holding a harmless insecticide simulating a biological agent, the research team is looking for a less damaging alternative to current water decontamination techniques. “By heating the interior of the aircraft from 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit in conjunction with a relative humidity at 80 to 90 percent over a period of one to five days, we will gain valuable data on how to destroy biological agents without harming the aircraft,” summed Tim Provens, AFRL’s project engineer. US Transportation Command is funding the study, which AFRL is undertaking in conjunction with Air Mobility Command experts and private contractors. (Little Rock report by 2nd Lt. Mallory Glass)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.