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
"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
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
"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
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."