Plant Services Team builds portable F-15 stands making one-stop maintenance shop

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • Robins Public Affairs

The 402nd Maintenance Group’s Plant Services Team has designed and built mobile stands to support the sustainment mission at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex located at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

“We call them F-15 maintenance stands,” said Jonathan Ashworth, 402nd Maintenance Group mechanical project engineer. “The maintenance group has some large yellow stands that are bigger but not mobile. The new stands we built are mobile.”

Ashworth and the Plant Services Team were able to design and build a prototype in less than a year.

“We fabricated a prototype for the maintenance group and they put the sections around the aircraft while making modification notes for each section,” said Ashworth. “Then the maintenance group brought that information back to us, and we made the modifications giving them exactly what they wanted.”

With the demand for more maintenance stands, the team’s workforce grew.

“The fabrication shop had to hire additional welders to make the stands and to maintain their current workload,” said Ashworth.

Additional stands will increase the amount of F-15 aircraft that can undergo programmed depot maintenance at the base.

“The primary reason for the new stands is the maintenance group is going to start doing work in Building 125 high-bay and these stands are specifically for that,” said Ashworth. “We will be fabricating 14 sets of stands and will be able to increase our F-15 workload by 14.”

More options are available to aircraft maintenance sections with the use of mobile stands.

“The older stands are fixed, and you are stuck with the configuration,” said Ashworth. “The new mobile F-15 maintenance stands come in six sections - two nose and tail sections and two side sections. Each piece can be used independently, rolled into place by hand to the aircraft.”

Both engineers said the maintenance stands will have compressed air and a variety of electrical capabilities.

John Felts, 402nd Maintenance Group electrical engineer technician said, “Jonathan gave me a 3D, model and I was able to imagine what it was going to look like and where the electrical panels, LED lighting, outlets and other basic utilities, like fans, would be placed.”

Each stand has been designed to have expandable electrical capabilities.

“Each section can be electrically independent of each other,” said Felts. “Each section has 120/208 volt power, but may need to bring something that needs three phase power, and you are able to do that. Each electrical panel has room for expansion.”

The F-15 maintenance stands have room to grow.

“Each section is designed to be expanded mechanically and electrically to fit the aircraft mission,” said Felt.

The Plant Services Team pulled together to create a versatile maintenance platform.

“The good thing about being a part of plant services, you get to see your design come to life within six months,” said Ashworth. “You have a good sense of accomplishment, and you actually get to see the end product.”

Felt agreed.

“Getting to work with Jonathan on this project, seeing this start on paper, then become fully developed while seeing customer satisfaction first-hand, gives me a good feeling to be part of a team,” he said.