ALC partners with GE and Egyptian air force in engine-overhaul project
By Brandice J. Armstrong , Tinker Public Affairs
/ Published February 05, 2010
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Tinker, General Electric and the Egyptian air force are collaborating in an ongoing project to overhaul Egyptian air force F110 engines.
Powering F-16s fighter jets, the first two of 12 engines were completed earlier this month. The project began in July.
"Partnering works," said Suzan Paxton, 539th Aircraft Sustainment Squadron Egyptian Technical manager. "We're building a lot of confidence in the foreign community and the success of this may lead to additional workload."
Asif Alikhan, GE Military Systems Spares Operation U.S. Air Force Sales manager, agreed.
"The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center's world-class engine maintenance capability coupled with GE's world-class kit coordination capability to ensure the 'right' parts, the 'right' quantity at the 'right' time was the win-win solution that Egypt needed for their engines," Mr. Alikhan said.
Approximately 12 to 15 years ago, the Egyptian air force purchased engines knowing someday they'd need to be overhauled. The day came and the Egyptian air force partnered with Tinker to perform the work. GE, which has a contract with the Egyptian air force, furnished the supplies.
Roughly 20 people from GE, original equipment managers, Foreign Military Sales and Tinker's maintenance organizations, worked on the project.
As the project got underway, parts were delivered to Bldg. 9001 where they were sorted in a "kitting" area and sub-kitted for mechanic-ready kits. Once separated, parts were delivered to Bldg. 3001, where Anthony Edrington, 546th Propulsion Maintenance Squadron product material technician, with Greg Mann, 539th ACSS Egyptian F110 program manager, and Ms. Paxton assembled mechanic kits.
Parts were kept separate and the work being done did not interfere with work performed on U.S. engines, Mr. Mann said.
Each kit has 1,200 parts, including nuts, bolts and major parts. Once kits were compiled, Mr. Edrington ensured the correct pieces were delivered to the appropriate shops.
"It was a real challenge when we first got this to make sure we got everything going to the right shops," Mr. Edrington said.
Charles Reed, work leader for the 546th PMXS F110 Final Assembly and Disassembly Shop, said when the engines first arrived, they were in need of an overhaul. Even though the engines hadn't been used as much as the U.S. engines, they hadn't been upgraded as frequently either. Mechanics saw normal wear and tear, but they were on the original components.
During the time the Egyptian engines were being flown, U.S. Air Force engines had been upgraded from a "100-series" to a "B-series" to a "C-series."
"I hadn't seen a 100-series in 20 years," Mr. Reed said. "It was a new experience; we didn't know exactly what parts we were going to need until we actually got into them. We basically did the same overhaul we do to our regular Air Force engines, but we didn't know how much had been accomplished in the engines."
Mr. Reed had five of his 22 mechanics working on the Egyptian engines.
The remaining 10 engines are scheduled to be completed by July.
Kari Tison, 546th PMXS Industrial Engineering technician and planner, said the work on the remaining engines should go without a hitch.
"Kudos to the mechanics; all the planning in the world couldn't help this go as smooth as those mechanics with what they've done," she said.
With the overhaul performed by Tinker personnel, Charles Wheeler, 539th ACSS Lead F110 Program manager, said the engines will require less routine maintenance, decreased the number of special inspections required and lower the ownership cost of the engine in the long run.
"It has increased the scheduled life of the engine by about four years," Mr. Mann said. "It gives the Egyptian air force about an extra four years of flying before the engine is due in for another major overhaul."