HomeNewsArticle Display

Binding material to save Osprey engines

The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. has a plan to mitigate aircraft engine damage that happens during training missions, using a biodegradable binding material at practice landing zones. TerraLOC binds the dirt in a landing zone together so as to not stir up as much blowing dirt when a CV-22 Osprey lands there. (Courtesy photo)

The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. has a plan to mitigate aircraft engine damage that happens during training missions, using a biodegradable binding material at practice landing zones. TerraLOC binds the dirt in a landing zone together so as to not stir up as much blowing dirt when a CV-22 Osprey lands there. (Courtesy photo)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (ANFS) -- The 58th Special Operations Wing has a plan to mitigate aircraft engine damage that happens during training missions using a biodegradable binding material at practice landing zones.

TerraLOC — a material is described to 58th SOW officials as "Gorilla Glue on steroids," by its manufacturer -- binds the dirt in a landing zone together so it doesn’t stir up as much when a CV-22 Osprey lands.

Avoiding the damage caused by New Mexico's dirt is the key to saving money and getting Airmen trained, said Col. Dwight Davis, the 58th Operations Group commander.

"Any dust mitigation extends the life of the engine and the prop-rotors," Davis said. "Starting at about 50 or 60 feet, it's like having two Category 5 hurricanes coming down."

The dirt in New Mexico presents a special problem for CV-22s. The abundant minerals found here, such as quartz and pumice, are abrasive and damage engines and prop-rotors, even more than the dirt and sand in places like Afghanistan.

A visual inspection of the Ospreys, specifically the nicks and dings on the prop-rotor leading edges, tells the story of what dirt can do to aircraft, he said.

Having the aircraft in good repair and available for training missions is necessary for the 58th SOW, which trains Airmen for special operations missions.

"We're concerned about the man hours involved in taking an engine down, taking the aircraft out of service and not having it available," Davis said.

Replacing an engine in a CV-22 costs around $1.2 million, said Lt. Col. Christina Willard, the 58th Operations Support Squadron commander. Applying TerraLOC, which costs about $70,000 for the initial treatment and less for subsequent applications, makes sense in terms of money and maintenance time.

According to Willard, TerraLOC could also save the wing nine engine replacements a year.

In addition to saving money on equipment, the Air Force must also help preserve the environment and the public lands used for landing zone practice.

To help find a solution, the 58th SOW worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which owns the land the Air Force uses as practice drop zones.

"To work with the BLM, you can't do anything to the environment," Willard said.

The BLM approved use of TerraLOC after a one-year trial. TerraLOC will be initially used at two drop zones, with plans to add more drop zones in the future.

"One of the main reasons we went with TerraLOC is that, once we are no longer using a landing zone, (the land) goes back to the way it was before," Davis said. The biodegradable nature of TerraLOC was a big selling point.

However, to be effective, TerraLOC must also be reapplied every 6-8 months, Willard said.

Davis added that rain actually helps an application remain viable for longer. New Mexico's dry weather makes more applications necessary.

Engage

Twitter
The two-week exercise is in tandem with the Polish air force near Powidz, Poland. #Partnership #ReadyAF https://t.co/oj2EPRUBSF
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC conducted an experiment known as Agile Flag 21-1 from Oct. 21-29 to test agile combat employment and a n… https://t.co/sZF2HgNUeI
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force will soon conduct focus groups with Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals abou… https://t.co/uPAlbUEYxt
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: For 50+ years, #MinutemanIII #ICBM fleet has underpinned our strategic force & played critical role in ensuring protect…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: Between Oct. 20 and 21, 2020, Iranian threat actors conducted an information operations campaign by sending emails, masquera…
Twitter
Ready day or night The 8th Fighter Wing at @KunsanAirBase stands ready to conduct counter-air, air interdiction,… https://t.co/8FzXyQPwFo
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Vice Chief of Space Operations tests positive for COVID-19 https://t.co/El9DBFkpAg
Twitter
Global reach Approximately 200 Airmen and four B-1B Lancer aircraft with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from… https://t.co/XdxCzteeGx
Twitter
Small business partnerships 🤝 @AFWERX is recommending more than 250 proposals as part of its X20D Small Business… https://t.co/vzVcj7Idfc
Twitter
Rapid strategic delivery 📦 The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for… https://t.co/WxSke8iXnG
Twitter
Fulfilling mission-critical requirements The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the #USAF a patent… https://t.co/wtf5K6NITn
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Looking forward to this dialogue today with Dr. Austin.
Twitter
Accelerating change Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing and 389th Fighter Squadron participate in Agile Flag 21-1 a… https://t.co/07r8CmEgl9
Twitter
Rolling out new tech The Air Force Civil Engineer Center made its first delivery of a new medium-size explosive or… https://t.co/Gj0PUVeQ6S
Twitter
#InnovativeAF @NASA representatives presented new medical diagnostic technology, the E-Nose Breathalyzer, which wi… https://t.co/mUzpASXPGm
Twitter
Pitstop ⛽️ A C-17 Globemaster pilot checks the alignment of a KC-135 Stratotankers aerial refueling boom. The flyi… https://t.co/ovgj9rh3uV
Twitter
The 23rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, will be the first to receive the new system.… https://t.co/UsQNUTdoNE
Twitter
New EOD robots are coming 🤖 Over the next 16-18 months, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center will deliver 333 high… https://t.co/wCmAo5GzDm
Twitter
RT @WILLROP3R: (3 of 3) What commercial #deeptech project should @usairforce and @SpaceForceDoD start next? What else should we consider? 🤔…
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
1,298,504
Follow Us