The US Navy has performed an aircraft repair at sea in a “first-of-its-kind” for the service.
Specialists from Fleet Readiness Command Center repaired an F/A-18E Super Hornet multi-role fighter aboard the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier.
The aircraft experienced an in-flight starboard engine fire in August last year, incurring significant damage that halted its operation.
Fixing the Super Hornet at sea reportedly reduced repair times and preserved the operational readiness and mission capabilities of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG), where it is based.
“The degree of fire and heat damage to the 68R door skin, vent screen, formers, S11 skin, starboard engine bay, and all accompanying hardware would normally result in the aircraft being inoperable for the remainder of deployment, and craned off the ship and transported to a location capable of handling the repairs upon return to homeport,” CSG-10 stated in a press release.
Went ‘Very Smoothly’
The CSG teams aboard the ship decided to perform the Super Hornet repairs at sea.
They were initially informed that the damaged aircraft would stay in a hangar bay and wait for repairs before becoming operational again.
Dissatisfied with the process, the teams convinced engineers that the repairs could be done aboard the USS George HW Bush to save time.
“Once the engineers had believed this repair could be accomplished at-sea, or at least that a repair could be attempted, things went very smoothly,” the CSG-10 expressed.
It reportedly took more than 30 days to complete the “first-of-its-kind” repair, but it allowed the Super Hornet to remain under “deployed” status while undergoing an overhaul.