HomeNewsArticle Display

New tech to ease F-35A flight line maintenance

388th Fighter Wing F-35A maintainers use new tablets to connect with jet.

Staff Sgt. Rio Torres, 388th Maintenance Squadron, and Airman 1st Class Jacob Dean, 419th Maintenance Squadron, both aircraft maintainers, use a tablet while performing inspections on an F-35A Lightning II fighter jet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 4, 2018. The networked tablets will update work orders and other information in real time allowing maintainers to generate sorties quicker and more efficiently. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

388th Fighter Wing F-35A maintainers use new tablets to connect with jet.

Staff Sgt. Rio Torres, 388th Maintenance Squadron, and Airman 1st Class Jacob Dean, 419th Maintenance Squadron, both aircraft maintainers, use a new hand-held tablet connected to a keyboard while working in a back shop at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 4, 2018. The new tablets will replace the laptops currently used by Total Force Airmen maintaining F-35A's at Hill AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) -- Maintainers on Hill Air Force Base’s flight line are beginning to utilize new high-tech, hand-held tablets to work on the F-35A Lightning II, the United States’ most advanced multi-role fighter aircraft.

“I am passionate about my job and I want to do it well. These tablets are going to help me do that,” said Staff Sgt. Rio Torres, a low observable technician in the 388th Maintenance Squadron.

The handheld tablets will augment laptops, called Portable Maintenance Aids, currently used by Airmen to connect to the F-35A’s Autonomic Logistics Information System on the flight line. ALIS is the one-stop shop for the “health” of every aircraft – used for tracking everything from flight data to aircraft status and supply information.

The “beefed-up laptops” maintainers now use are not always the fastest or most efficient, said Torres. They are not WI-FI enabled, and don’t allow for real-time information sharing.

The units are also bulky and heavy and must be manually updated with tech data and other information. Any changes to a jet’s status also required maintainers to leave the flight line to log into ALIS. Now, maintainers and their tablets will be networked together to update work orders and other information immediately, moving from jet to jet much more quickly.

“If we have an issue with a jet and need to ground abort, a pilot will be able to sign out a spare right on the line and step to that jet. We can do that right on the flight line without having to call the flight ops desk for a backup,” said 1st Lt. Eric Dolan, 388th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment flight commander.

Eventually the 388th Maintenance Group will have nearly 200 of the handheld tablets which will help maintainers generate sorties quicker and more efficiently.

Hill AFB is slated to be home to three operational F-35A fighter squadrons with a total of 78 aircraft by the end of 2019. The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill AFB in September 2015. The active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Air Force Reserve 419th FW will fly and maintain the jet in a Total Force partnership, which capitalizes on the strength of both components.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Training and repetition is key to being #AlwaysReady Exercises like #SouthernStrike2020 allow our Airmen to work with tot…
Over 100 aircraft are flying over the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micr… https://t.co/XwsxbIXET9
RT @PACAF: Gen. CQ Brown Jr. met w/ allies & partners from across the Indo-Pacific & beyond @SGAirshow to showcase U.S. commitment & discus…
Good luck to all the drivers in today's #Daytona500, but we may be a bit biased on who we want to win it all.… https://t.co/PDLqBdl39X
Thanks for a great game @LAKings and @Avalanche. #ICYMI the @NHL Stadium series made a stop at the @AF_academy las… https://t.co/VyNsvpQM6o
RT @Creech_AFB: Singapore Airshow has been flying by (🥁-tss) meeting with international friends & partners! Repub. of Singapore Air Force…
Our own TSgt Nalani Quintello, vocalist with @USAFBand Max Impact, will perform the National Anthem prior to the 62… https://t.co/Asf5dTlXU8
RT @SecAFOfficial: Valuable hands-on experience @RAFMildenhall! Grateful to meet innovative #Airmen executing complex missions around the w…
RT @USAFCENT: COMBAT SEARCH AND RECOVERY | Recently USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters refueled over the Arabian Gulf from a U.S. Air Force…
RT @AETCommand: It takes a ton of people to ensure our aircraft get in the air so we can train @usairforce pilots to fly, fight & win! Che…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Humbled each day to serve in the same @usairforce Brig Gen Charles McGee paved the way for. He is a genuine #American
The @AFThunderbirds will be flying over ✈️ the #DAYTONA500 🏎️ this Sunday. https://t.co/iTN0qtu0e0
RT @USAFReserve: Beating Bad Weather: Command announces indoor alternative to physical fitness assessment - https://t.co/cP93Ijrbtw #Reserv
A U.S. Air Force AC-130J Ghostrider taxis on a flightline as a French Air Force C-130 lands at Alpena Combat Readin… https://t.co/hNTIhvJYvD
Don't miss the @NHL, @LAKings vs @Avalanche playing at the @AF_Academy this Saturday at 6 P.M. MST. Good luck to bo… https://t.co/KF9WqHlqaS
Happy Valentine's Day! https://t.co/ITdKRQ8Pm8
The first senior enlisted advisor for the U.S. Space Force has been named. Roger A. Towberman, welcome to the team! https://t.co/R8Fr98q4Jn
RT @AFGlobalStrike: Feb. has been a busy month for AFGSC, with a Bomber Task Force mission to the Indo-Pacific Theater & last week's unarme…
RT @AF_Academy: ❄️ Check out this timelapse of the @NHL transforming Falcon Stadium from football to an outdoor ice arena primed for Saturd…