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Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs (Jan. 31, 2006): Air Force Research Laboratory engineer receives award.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFMCNS) -- Doug Carter, an engineer from the Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recently received the Air Force Science and Engineering Award in the category of Manufacturing for 2005.

Carter, who currently works with the directorate's Manufacturing Technology Division, earned this prestigious award for his contributions to solving a critical material scale-up problem that directly affects the operational maintainability and combat availability of the Air Force's B-2 bomber fleet.

To improve the B-2 fleet mission capability rate, a major effort was initiated by the B-2 System Group to remove tape covering access panel gaps and fasteners and replace it with a material called Alternate High Frequency Material. AHFM exposes the gaps and fasteners for easy removal and replacement of access panels without any material restoration required. Successful flight tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the AHFM design, but upon material scale-up for fleet-wide implementation, consistent batch-to-batch performance could not be obtained.

Carter initiated a $2.8 million AHFM Rapid Response Process Improvement Program to solve the consistency problem. The successful program gave the B-2 Systems Group and Air Combat Command the confidence to implement AHFM fleet-wide, both increasing mission capability rate and decreasing maintenance manhours-per-flight-hour by 50 percent. This program resulted in a significant increase in aircraft availability and cost savings.

The AHFM RRPI enhanced the fleet's high-priority maintainability program and improved material delivery schedule and production cost. The program reduced the material production schedule from 26 weeks to 12 weeks and implemented an improved test method, which saves eight calendar days per batch. Maintenance actions previously requiring a week of aircraft downtime for repair now require as little as 30 minutes.

Additionally, the results of this program have caught the attention of other weapon system program offices.

Boston is with Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs.
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Title Annotation:Acquisition & Logistics Excellence
Author:Boston, Rene
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:May 1, 2006
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