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Technicians use aircraft wreckage for testing

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- With Wright-Patterson's vertical wind tunnel in the background, training aircraft systems group technicians guide the fuselage of a wrecked T-1A Jayhawk into a building here.  The aircraft is used as a trainer for cargo and tanker aircrews flying aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker.  Although not in the air, this T-1A will continue to serve the Air Force.  The group's aging and reliability program specialists will use the fuselage and the wings for testing.  (U.S. Air Force photo by George Kawanishi)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- With Wright-Patterson's vertical wind tunnel in the background, training aircraft systems group technicians guide the fuselage of a wrecked T-1A Jayhawk into a building here. The aircraft is used as a trainer for cargo and tanker aircrews flying aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker. Although not in the air, this T-1A will continue to serve the Air Force. The group's aging and reliability program specialists will use the fuselage and the wings for testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by George Kawanishi)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- After 11 years of service as a flight trainer, a T-1A Jayhawk aircraft is joining the Aeronautical Systems Center here.

The aircraft, although damaged past the point of repair, still has its avionics and other subsystems intact, along with most of its fuselage. Technicians in the center’s training aircraft systems group are using it as a test asset in their T-1A aging and reliability program.

Col. Ronald Joseph, the group’s commander, requested that Air Education and Training Command officials transfer the aircraft here.

The T-1A, a modified Beech 400A, is used to prepare Air Force and Navy aviators to fly cargo and tanker aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker, a training burden that previously fell on the operational units.

Bringing this Jayhawk here will help extend the life of the remaining 179 aircraft in the T-1A fleet.

Test results will improve the ability of group technicians to anticipate and prevent problems and to take proactive measures to keep the fleet in operational condition, said David Anderson, the group's former deputy director.

“This will not only yield higher mission capability rates, but also make the T-1A safer for the 600 to 900 aviators a year who train on this aircraft at five different installations,” Mr. Anderson said.

“Our aging and reliability program is still in its infancy,” said Danny Shaver, T-1A system squadron director. “We’re taking advantage of having the (Air Force Research) Lab and aging aircraft (systems squadron here). We tap their expertise as much as possible.”

The laboratory’s materials directorate testing includes diagnoses of the wiring systems and avionics components of the aircraft, as well as coating studies to evaluate the adhesion and strippability of various specialty and conversion coatings. Their test results will likely have application to other Air Force aircraft, officials said.

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