Odd USAF factoids I didn’t know before, courtesy of Air Force magazine’s Aviation World roundup.
- Boeing received a $2 billion (USD) contract to build 242 sets of new wings for USAF’s fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II CAS aircraft. The contract is to be completed by 2018.
That means 98% of all A-10 Warthogs in service today (248 across Active, Reserve and Guard forces) will get a set of new wings. I’m not sure if this contract includes the OA-10 variants, though. Including the OA-10s into the percentage calculations brings the figure to 68% and a total fleet size of 356. The A-10 first flew in 1975, and is expected to remain in service until 2028.
- AMC engineers and technicians from 463d Airlift Group spent three days in June experimenting with C-130 braking systems. They came up with new and improved gear systems, carbon brakes and anti-skid adjustments expected to save $250 million (USD). The old braking system can handle about 200 landings, but the upgrades are supposed to allow about 2,000 safe landings.
A tenfold reduction in maintenance and associated costs sounds pretty good. The new system is due to be fitted to 600 aircraft starting in 2010.