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4th CMS hydraulics Airmen design, use apparatus to test stabilator actuators

An unassembled hydraulic stabilator actuator from an F-15E Strike Eagle is prepared for reassembly on a work bench at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021.

An unassembled hydraulic stabilator actuator from an F-15E Strike Eagle is prepared for reassembly on a work bench at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021. The hydraulic actuator, which moves the stabilator of an F-15E, defects collectively for pitch control and differentially to add roll control power to the jet ailerons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera)

Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, connects a stabilator actuator to a test apparatus at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, connects a stabilator actuator to a test apparatus at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021. The stabilator actuator is a mission critical part for the F-15E Strike Eagle, which is a key part that allows to the aircraft to fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera)

Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, tests a stabilator actuator at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, tests a stabilator actuator at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021. To date, 12 serviceable stabilator actuators have been produced on base, four of which have been successfully flown on F-15E Strike Eagles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera)

Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, calibrates a stabilator actuator test apparatus at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor, calibrates a stabilator actuator test apparatus at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021. Having the test apparatus on base results in quicker turnaround time for stabilator actuators being repaired. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera)

Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor (front), and Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Fannin, 4 CMS centralized repair facility NCO in charge (back), prepare to test a stabilator actuator at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility expeditor (front), and Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Fannin, 4 CMS centralized repair facility NCO in charge (back), prepare to test a stabilator actuator at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Jan. 7, 2021. SJAFB is the only base, apart from the depot facility at Hill AFB, Utah, that can repair the hydraulics side of stabilator actuators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

The F-15E Strike Eagle depends on many parts to maintain operational status. One mission critical part is the stabilator actuator. Without this part, the F-15E cannot fly. The hydraulic actuator, which moves the stabilator of an F-15E, defects collectively for pitch control and differentially to add roll control power to the jet ailerons.

“All over the world, this is the number one non-mission capable driver component for the F-15E,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Fannin, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron centralized repair facility NCO in charge. “When these components break down, depot is not able to push them out fast enough.”

To help alleviate this problem, Airmen from the 4th CMS hydraulics shop designed an apparatus that would enable them to test stabilator actuators.

“The new apparatus tests the electrical output of the physical dimensions of where the actuator is at in the aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Hall, 4 CMS centralized repair facility expeditor. “With this new process, we are pushing out stabilator actuators in about eight hours instead of 72 days, which is what depot is turning.” 

Fannin added, we have produced 12 serviceable assets out or the 14 or 15 that we have tested. Four of these have already successfully flown on F-15E’s assigned to SJAFB. 

Having the test apparatus on base results in quicker turnaround times for stabilator actuators, which in turn means more training for air crew members, more F-15Es in the air and more aircraft ready for wherever our mission takes us. 

Right now, SJAFB is the only base apart from the depot facility at Hill AFB, Utah that can overhaul the hydraulics side of stabilator actuators. Having more of the test apparatuses made will give SJAFB the ability to increase our readiness and lethality.

“In the future, we will have more of these made and test apparatus will be deployable,” said Hall. “If our Airmen get a stabilator down range, it can be quickly returned to working conditions while in a deployed location instead of being sent back to our home station. Having this test apparatus allows us to maintain our aircraft and provide combat air power for America.”