HomeNewsArticle Display

Edwards AFB reduces cost for fire suppression test

Containment pools (bottom right) were built with wood framing and plastic sheets to aid in water collection during the test. This is a different approach from previous tests where water or fire-fighting foam was released into the hangar after all equipment was manually covered up with plastic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kenji Thuloweit)

Containment pools (bottom right) were built with wood framing and plastic sheets to aid in water collection during the test. This is a different approach from previous tests where water or fire-fighting foam was released into the hangar after all equipment was manually covered up with plastic. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kenji Thuloweit)

The interior of Hangar 1210 was the site of the base’s most recent emergency scenario exercise that occurred Nov. 26. The hangar, which has 10 large capacity and 2 small capacity foam generators, released approximately 110 gallons of two percent Ansul Jet-Ex foam concentrate that is part of the newly-installed fire suppression system. The foam is detergent-based with additives to keep it stable and keep it from freezing. The purpose of the exercise was so Exercise Evaluation Team members could assess how on-base emergency response personnel gain and maintain control of a site after a fire suppression system discharge incident has occurred. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jet Fabara)

The interior of on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., was the site of the base’s most recent emergency scenario exercise that occurred Nov. 26, 2016. The hangar, which has 10 large capacity and two small capacity foam generators, released approximately 110 gallons of foam concentrate that is part of the newly installed fire suppression system. The foam is detergent-based with additives to keep it stable and keep it from freezing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jet Fabara)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Members of the F-35 Integrated Test Force developed a new funnel system that captures the foam or water deluge during required hangar fire-suppression system tests, saving $79,750 and several days of delay, which can be critically important for test programs.

The new funnel system testing by members from the Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department and the 461st Flight Test Squadron tried out a new funnel system to conduct fire suppression tests Jan. 7-8 at Hangar 1820.

In order to protect workers and multimillion dollar aircraft, such as the F-35A Lightning II, tests need to be conducted periodically to ensure hangar fire suppression systems are working properly and can be activated and deactivated.

In the past, planes and equipment needed to be moved out of hangars while remaining equipment was covered in plastic to protect the equipment from either the fire-fighting foam or water that would be dumped into the hangar. After all that, the cleanup effort begins.

“It was estimated that the time required to accomplish the required activities would be four days,” said Steve Bridgers, a member of Joint Strike Fighter Facilities Engineering. “The original task was to cover all electrical panels, dock boxes and computers. This activity would involve the early shut down of flight testing and removal of all planes from the hangars. Impacts to the flight schedules were impossible to avoid with the fire suppression test.”

Bridgers was one of the JSF Integrated Test Force site support personnel who submitted a proposal that would save “an enormous amount of labor hours.” Their solution was to fabricate a funnel hose assembly to capture the water and funnel it down to the floor to containment pools. Hangar 1820 has multiple fire suppression foam generators that needed a funnel because once the fire suppression system is activated in the eastside or the west side, all foam generators are activated for that hangar. Makeshift containment pools were also needed underneath each funnel to capture the 200-plus gallons of water that would be captured. Water is an acceptable and economic way of testing the foam generators.

“A prototype funnel was created last year and the fire department tested it (on the flightline) by spraying 150 gallons per minute of water down the funnels at the height of 35 feet, which simulated the height of the hangar. The funnels performed flawlessly and permission was given to purchase 10 funnels and provide them with a window to view the flow of water during the test as desired by the fire department,” Bridgers said.

The Edwards Fire Department then inspected the mounting on the funnels to ensure the windows in the funnels were adequate to see the water flow. After the inspection, the fire department was impressed with the prototype testing and approved the new method for capturing the water, according to Bridgers.

What could have taken four days to complete, took about one day’s work. After the fire department gave the go ahead, the fire suppression system was activated sending water down the funnels for about two minutes total. Other than a couple of leaky containment pools that required some mops, the test went as planned and a contractor crew came into extract the water from the ponds with a hose and a tanker truck.

“It was really a complete success,” said Mary Parker, the JSF Integrated Test Force logistics deputy. “We learned a couple things attaching the funnels during Saturday’s test in Hangar 1820’s eastside, so we were ahead of schedule for the west side’s test on Sunday.”

The tests at Edwards could possibly pave the way as a cost and time-saving procedure for the rest of the Air Force. As with flight test data, Bridgers hopes the official results of the new system will be passed up through Air Force channels so other bases can possibly use it.

“This method of testing the fire suppression system resulted in labor savings of relocating equipment, computers and covering all electrical, mezzanine's and dock boxes. Total cost to support the fire suppression system with the standard approach, with all resources to remove and cover the entire hangar, is $88,700. The cost for the site support team needed to hang fire suppression funnels for each hangar was a total of $8,950; total labor savings is $79,750.”

“The major savings to the F-35 program was the fact that we were able to conduct the test for the fire suppression system without canceling any flight test sorties,” Parker said. “Plus, the amount of cleanup was reduced to sucking the water from the containment pools, rather than mopping up an entire hangar – cleanup was accomplished in a little over one hour [versus] multiple hours.”

Bridgers added that the ITF’s JT3 Facilities Team is commended for pulling together to install and remove the funnels; adjust the funnels to accommodate the fall restraint system adjacent to the diffusers; assist with monitoring and adjusting the end of the funnels into the containment pools; and cleaning up the residual water after the contractor had emptied the containment pools.

“This was a Herculean effort by the many agencies that made it a complete success.”

Engage

Twitter
#ICYMI, the DAF has worked to optimize air & space capabilities in the Arctic region, supporting @DeptofDefense obj… https://t.co/rEi19ZLmjs
Twitter
Airmen and Soldiers transport a simulated patient to an Army HH-60M Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a joint em… https://t.co/EMMEQBDbyA
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@SD_Guard F-16s with the 114th Fighter Wing fly over South Dakota during #CombatRaider 21. Various @usairforce & ANG uni…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase Airmen worked w/ @USAfricaCommand and Tunisian Air Force personnel to provided 310 canisters of o… https://t.co/RY83o75XAQ
Twitter
RT @AFSOUTH: SrA Luis Pratts a @usairforce F-16 Crew Chief at #RelampagoVI not only launches airpower daily during his time in #Colombia bu…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "The balance between capability and capacity is delicate. That’s why our new Fighter Roadmap outlines the way to do both. Th…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,874
Follow Us