Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) artisans and the Fleet Support Team (FST) recently joined industry partners and the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) to prevent the loss of a CMV-22 Osprey aircraft which had suffered damage during a mishap. The right-hand inner composite skin of the $75 million aircraft sustained a four-foot by two-foot crack with other, but minor, composite damage. The V-22 is unique to other airframes serviced by the command because of its aluminum, carbon/epoxy composite fuselage, and empennage. Its wings and nacelles are also composite and fiberglass.
“A lot of people would have said, `Hey, we need to strike this aircraft,’ but the engineers at the FST and our industry partners decided to figure out a way to keep this asset in the fleet. “These capabilities are what makes Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the FST, and the PMA-275 program so incredibly important to this community because we can take care of our stuff and keep these assets in the fight,” said Col. Brian Taylor, PMA-275 program manager.
John Sandoval, sheet metal mechanic work lead, said, “The repair required replacing the inner skin panel. We’ve removed over 1,200 fasteners separated by over 42 feet of composite inner skin to the composite outer skin. This proved to be difficult because this is the first of its kind repair.”
“This is the first major ISR and first mishap aircraft my team has performed on a CMV-22. The labor-intense repair would require about 70 days and more than 2,800 man-hours to complete, with sheet metal work taking most of those hours. The planning department estimated the repair will cost $390,500. Currently, we are tracking to complete the repair on schedule and under budget,” said Michael Dixon, FRCSW V-22 production manager.
The aircraft, assigned to Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 (VRM-30), was inducted by FRCSW on January 13 as an in-service repair (ISR), or repairs outside of scheduled maintenance. In addition to four sheet metal mechanics, other artisans needed to ensure a successful repair include electricians, mechanics, Quality Assurance, and Planner and Estimator personnel. All will work in conjunction with engineering departments from the FST and Boeing. The Osprey will be returned to VRM-30 when complete. In the meantime, a safety investigation relating to the mishap is underway.