Military News

Friday, November 06, 2015

Holloman F-16s first in AF for aircraft purification

by Airman 1st Class Emily A. Kenney
49th Wing Public Affairs


11/6/2015 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The F-16 Fighting Falcons at Holloman Air Force Base are clean and pure - at least as far as their hydraulic fluid is concerned thanks to new test stands.

"Aircraft purification is removing all the moisture, air and particles out of the hydraulic fluid in the systems of the aircraft," said Senior Master Sgt. Ian Hall, the 54th Aircraft Maintenance Air Ground Equipment flight chief. "It's important because it will increase the system reliability on the aircraft, and it will greatly reduce the long-term maintenance costs."

Although the process isn't new, it's the first time it has been used on F-16s, and the 54th AMXS received the first three hydraulic test stands equipped with onboard purification systems.

The new stands will save money and resources. According to Hall, the system can save up to 230 gallons of hydraulic fluid compared to a standard flush.

"Previously, every time we had dirty fluid we had to do a drain-and-flush," Hall said. "That included all of our [aerospace ground equipment] as well. So, if our old hydraulic test stands were contaminated, we had to drain and flush the system three times and change the filters. Now, we can just run it through the new hydraulic test stand and purify our equipment. It's the same for the jets. We cycle their fluid through the hydraulic test stand, and it's as good as new."

With each flush taking as many as eight hours, the savings in time is an added bonus.

"In the big picture, you'd never have to do a drain-and-flush again," Hall said. "As long as you're hooking up that system when doing routine maintenance, it is still purifying that fluid."

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