Thrusting Ahead

Officials with the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Okla., are working toward the start of depot work on the F117 engine, the Pratt & Whitney powerplant for the quad-engined C-17 transport, in less than two years. The Air Force is investing about $44 million to prepare a 96,000-square-foot workspace for the F117, which will be the largest engine that the depot has ever serviced, according to unit officials. The group expects to receive the first F117 in March 2010. About 100 to 150 technicians will work on the F-117s and service between six and 10 engines a month, with about 60 days needed to overhaul one. Leonard Hayes, a program manager with the group, called the F117 work important to replace work done on engines for older aircraft as the service phases them out and to position the ALC well for potential new work on similarly large engines with the KC-X tanker fleet. (Tinker report by Brandice Armstrong)