Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center technicians completed programmed depot maintenance on a KC-135 tanker in 99 flow days, the first time they have broken the 100-day barrier, said officials at Tinker AFB, Okla., where the depot is located. They returned the tanker, aircraft 63-7988, to the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Air Refueling Wing in Lincoln on May 15, according to Tinker’s May 25 release. “Many experts said producing a KC-135 aircraft in less than 100 days was impossible,” said Col. Brad Tannehill, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group commander. He added, “Well, this team made the impossible possible. They did it by significantly increasing speed while continuing to improve quality and safety.” On average, it takes the center roughly 127 flow days to overhaul a KC-135, states the release. Four years ago, that same process averaged 226 days; 12 years ago, it took more than 400 days, it states. (Tinker report by Brandice J. O’Brien)
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.