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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Process-In prepares aircraft for long or short term storage at AMARG. Initial preservation, represervation and maintenance during storage is all carried out under this process. The following is a breakdown of the steps that an aircraft will go through from its delivery to AMARG to its placement on one of the facilities long term storage areas.

Receive Aerospace Vehicle - The majority of the aircraft that arrive at AMARG are delivered by flight. In some cases aircraft may not be capable of flight and are delivered by overland transport. In this case AMARG have the capability to deploy a team of specialists to assist in the disassembly and transportation of the aircraft to AMARG.

Aircraft are flown to AMARG by the owning service. On arrival the pilots are debriefed where details of in-flight discrepancies are recorded, aircraft records are handed over and AMARG takes custody of the aircraft. The aircraft is tied down in the receiving area and samples are taken of engine oil, hydraulic fluid and landing gear fluid for analysis by a laboratory.

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Boeing EC-135P 55-3129 from the 6th Airborne Command and Control Squadron/1st Fighter Wing based at Langley AFB, VA. This image shows some of the complexity involved with the preservation of the larger aircraft types. © Bob Shane.
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McDonnell Douglas F-15A 73-0092 arriving at AMARC on 08-JUL-1991. From her e it will go through the arrival processes of cleaning, flushing and preserving before being place out in long term storage. © Bob Shane.
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U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas F-4S Phantom on the Flush Farm undergoing re-preservation. © Bob Shane.
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Convair F-106A Delta Dart 58-0775 on the AMARC Flush Farm shortly after retirement. Note the covered engine exhaust which will prevent dirt and debris from entering the engine. © Bob Shane.
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Vought A-7 Corsair being towed out to a long term storage spot after having regular re-preservation work carried out on it. © Bob Shane.
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An AMARC technician sealing one of the many service hatches using spraylat on a freshing retired aircraft. © Bob Shane.

Pre-Induction Safing Procedures - Aircraft are made safe by the removal of hazardous and dangerous components or materials. This includes the removal of PAD/CAD (Propellant Actuated Device/Cartridge Actuated Device) items. High-pressure systems are bled and spring-loaded systems are relieved, survival kits are removed and any remaining weapons are removed for specialized storage.

Aerospace Vehicle Inventory - During this process a complete inventory of the aircraft is performed to document any missing items. Classified items are removed and sent to a secure storage area. Pilferable items or items subject to deterioration are placed in storage or are disposed of.

Preserve Aircraft Systems - On the Flush Farm the aircrafts fuel systems are drained, the resulting fuel will be stored for future re-use. The empty fuel tanks are filled using NATO grade 1010 preservation oil, the oil is pumped through the entire fuel system to preserve all of its components (tanks, pipes, pumps, etc.). Depending on the type of engine engine it is either motored or run to fully circulate the pure oil. The surplus oil is then removed and recovered for future use.

Wash and Evaluate Aircraft - On the Wash Rack the aircraft is thoroughly cleaned and inspected for corrosion. Each component is evaluated and after documentation of any problem that is found it is treated according to instructions from the owning service. The Wash Rack forms part of the large flightline which runs north to south on the west side of kolb Road.

Seal Aerospace Vehicle for Storage - Most of the aircraft at AMARG are protected by a vinyl compound called Spraylat which is sprayed on as two coats. The first coat is black in colour and seals the aircraft to protect its systems from dust, moisture, animals and insects. The second coat, which is white in colour, helps to reflect sunlight and heat to protect the aircraft from excessive internal temperatures. Before the spraylat is applied the engine intake and exhaust areas have desiccant material installed into them, and other openings are filled with barrier material of barrier tape. All access panels, doors, plates and other small openings are sealed using tapes. Brushable spraylat is used in conjunction with the barrier materials and tape to ensure a complete seal. Cockpits are vented and glass and acrylic surfaces are cleaned before the spraylat is applied to them.

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After all this work has been completed the internal temperatures will be within 10-15 degrees farenhuit of the outside air temperature. Without this protection the internal temperatures would reach in access of 200 degrees and this would result in the rapid deteriation of the plastic, rubber and heat sensitive components.

Transport Aircraft to Final Storage Site - The aircraft are then towed to the designated storage position and are secured.

While at AMARG aircraft can be stored under the following categories:

Type 1000 Aircraft stored in near-flyaway condition. Can be stored without re-preservation for a period of 4 years. Aircraft stored under this category may be downgraded to Type 2000.
Type 1500 Aircraft previously fully preserved.
With regard to U.S. Navy aircraft - Strike board decision to not re-preserve the aircraft at the 4-year mark.
Type 2000 Generally aircraft allocated for reclamation purposes. Aircraft stored under this category may be downgraded to Type 4000.
Type 3000

Flyable hold for 90 days or more, pending transfer, sale or disposition.

 

Type 4000 Minimal preservation. Generally aircraft stored in this category are awaiting disposal.