Edwards AFB reduces cost for fire suppression test The new funnel system testing by members from the Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department and the 461st Flight Test Squadron tried out a new funnel system to conduct fire suppression tests Jan. 7-8 ...
PoliticalNews.me - Jan 16,2017 - Edwards AFB reduces cost for fire suppression test
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Members of the F-35 Integrated Test Force developed a new funnel system that captures the foam or water deluge during required hangar fire-suppression system tests, saving $79,750 and several days of delay, which can be critically important for test programs.
The new funnel system testing by members from the Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department and the 461st Flight Test Squadron tried out a new funnel system to conduct fire suppression tests Jan. 7-8 at Hangar 1820.
In order to protect workers and multimillion dollar aircraft, such as the F-35A Lightning II, tests need to be conducted periodically to ensure hangar fire suppression systems are working properly and can be activated and deactivated.
In the past, planes and equipment needed to be moved out of hangars while remaining equipment was covered in plastic to protect the equipment from either the fire-fighting foam or water that would be dumped into the hangar. After all that, the cleanup effort begins.
“It was estimated that the time required to accomplish the required activities would be four days,” said Steve Bridgers, a member of Joint Strike Fighter Facilities Engineering. “The original task was to cover all electrical panels, dock boxes and computers. This activity would involve the early shut down of flight testing and removal of all planes from the hangars. Impacts to the flight schedules were impossible to avoid with the fire suppression test.”
Bridgers was one of the JSF Integrated Test Force site support personnel who submitted a proposal that would save “an enormous amount of labor hours.” Their solution was to fabricate a funnel hose assembly to capture the water and funnel it down to the floor to containment pools. Hangar 1820 has multiple fire suppression foam generators that needed a funnel because once the fire suppression system is activated in the eastside or the west side, all foam generators are activated for that hangar. Makeshift containment pools were also needed underneath each funnel to capture the 200-plus gallons of water that would be captured. Water is an acceptable and economic way of testing the foam generators.
“A prototype funnel was created last year and the fire department tested it (on the flightline) by spraying 150 gallons per minute of water down the funnels at the height of 35 feet, which simulated the height of the hangar. The funnels performed flawlessly and permission was given to purchase 10 funnels and provide them with a window to view the flow of water during the test as desired by the fire department,” Bridgers said.
The Edwards Fire Department then inspected the mounting on the funnels to ensure the windows in the funnels were adequate to see the water flow. After the inspection, the fire department was impressed with the prototype testing and approved the new method for capturing the water, according to Bridgers.
What could have taken four days to complete, took about one day’s work. After the