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Tinker AFLCMC units mark successes

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Tinker personnel attached to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center have achieved several significant successes in recent months, Lt. Gen. C.D. Moore II, the commander, highlighted recently.

· B-1 personnel fielded two quick-reaction software changes that provided additional combat capability and addressed a safety risk.

· The B-1 unit also completed Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile ER testing and achieved initial operational capability of the weapon.

· B-2 Supply Chain Management achieved the second-highest annual mission capable rate, saving $2.4 million and reducing labor hours by 3,700.

· The KC-135 SPO completed the last of seven Turkish KC-135 aircraft in which the Global Air Traffic Management modification was installed in a foreign military sales case. The GATM avionics suite enables the tankers to fly optimized routes, resulting in lower fuel consumption, shorter flight times, and ultimately lower operating and support costs for the aircraft.

· The Propulsion Directorate is collaborating with multiple program executive officers and organizations. "We're working to provide the engines they need for each of their platforms," said Paul Waugh, chief of the Propulsion Sustainment Division.

· The B-52 SPO led testing efforts to reduce use of icing inhibitor in the fuel; the new JP-8 fuel specification will resulted in an estimated $5.3 million annual cost savings.
Capt. Daniel DeVirgilio, B-52 Fuel Systems Engineer, said all military jet fuel has three additives: Fuel System Icing Inhibitor, Anti-Static, and a Corrosion Inhibitor.

FSII is similar to but different from the anti-icing system in the wings, as it keeps ice from forming within the fuel by holding it in a suspended state, the captain said. "FSII is actually quite superfluous in most aircraft," he said, as they either have fuel heaters or use their fuel as heat-sinks for electronics. However, the B-52, and a select few of the more venerable aircraft still in service, do not have fuel heaters.

The FSII molecule used by the Air Force (there are a few) is DiEGME, "and while it does its job really well, it's nasty stuff and causes a lot of problems within the fuel tanks," the captain continued. "Specifically, it causes the paint within the tanks to peel in large strips, which get caught in the boost pumps and cause flameouts."

After a decade of research and testing, the FSII team (comprised of Tinker's B-52 SPO, Boeing, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the University of Dayton Research Institute) found that:

DiEGME was the source of paint peeling within the fuel tanks.
Reducing the concentration of DiEGME would greatly reduce the paint peeling problem, with the added benefit of lowering the Air Force's additives bill (this is where the $5.3M comes from).

Moreover, the $5.3 million savings on additives doesn't include the additional savings the Air Force will realize from fewer flameouts, fewer maintenance operations to clean out paint debris, and fewer Fuel Tank Topcoat Peeling repairs, Captain DeVirgilio said.
The captain was quick to credit Rex Cash, the fuels engineer who "spearheaded this project for the previous decade before I got here in 2011."