Teardown for an F-15

Since February a team of five workers with S&K Technologies has been taking an F-15D apart—and still has a way to go before it will have completely disassembled the fighter, probably in November—to enable the Air Force to study age effects that could guide how USAF maintains its legacy F-15 fighters. The Air Force got particularly concerned about its F-15 fighters following the mid-air breakup of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C in November 2007. The service grounded all F-15A-D models for several months while it review the accident. In addition to disassembling this F-15D, USAF told the Daily Report earlier this year that it planned to award a contract this summer that would set the stage to begin a stress test on an F-15 in fall 2011. The Warner Robins Air Logistics Center project officer for the teardown, 2nd Lt. Amanda Alpaugh, an F-15 structural engineer, said the project will enable the ALC technicians to see areas of the aircraft not even observed during programmed depot maintenance. She said, “This is critical data because it allows us to adjust our PDM work package to ensure we inspect the right places at the right time and address the wear and tear before it becomes a problem.” (Robins report by Wayne Crenshaw)