HomeNewsArticle Display

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Staff Sgt. Jon Zengotita and Airman Isaiah Edwards, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) personnel, measures a RQ-4 Global Hawk wing June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. NDI Airmen use ultrasonic inspection equipment to ensure the structural viability of the Global Hawk’s exterior. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Airman Isaiah Edwards, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) technician, applies chalk to an RQ-4 Global Hawk wing June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. NDIs of the RQ-4 require special ultrasonic inspection equipment due to the aircraft composite wings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Airman Isaiah Edwards, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) technician, sets up inspection equipment on an RQ-4 Global Hawk June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The 9th MXS NDI personnel use unique techniques to inspect the RQ-4 only used here and at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Airman 1st Class John Puhl, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) technician, inspects an RQ-4 Global Hawk nacelle June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. NDI Airmen use ultrasonic inspection equipment to ensure the structural viability of the Global Hawk’s exterior. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Staff Sgt. Jon Zengotita, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) craftsman, sets up a mobile automated scanner system to perform a NDI on an RQ-4 Global Hawk wing June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The system provides a detailed image of the composition of the wing by using ultrasound to map and identify and flaws. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

Airman Isaiah Edwards, 9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) technician, monitors the NDI process for a RQ-4 Global Hawk June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The mobile automated scanner system provides a detailed image of the RQ-4’s composite wings, which is displayed on the computer screen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

Beale NDI team’s unique, time-saving RQ-4 inspection process

A mobile automated scanner system inspects a RQ-4 Global Hawk wing June 20, 2018, at Beale Air Force Base, California. The system uses water during inspections allowing the ultrasonic waves to map the aircrafts composite wings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan D. Viglianco)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

9th Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection (NDI) Airmen are in the process of performing an inspection of the RQ-4 Global Hawk’s exterior and wings. Since the RQ-4 is made from composite material as opposed to metal the NDI requires ultrasonic inspection equipment. The Airmen use both handheld inspection equipment and a mobile automated scanner system (MAUS). The MAUS allows them to do a scan which would take a week in a couple of days. The both types of ultrasonic inspection equipment provide a detail image of scanned areas to map and identify flaws.