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12 avril 2014 6 12 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
USAF to complete upgrading the F-22 oxygen system in 12 months

The current backup oxygen system requires manual activation. ABOS will enable automatic activation, ensuring additional oxygen flow to the pilot in case the main supply is insufficient. Photo: US Air Force


Apr 11, 2014 defense-update.com


Following a lengthy investigation into the cause of numerous incidents causing F-22 Raptor pilots to suffer from hypoxia-like symptoms, the U.S. Air Force is upgrading the Raptor’s life support system, installing an Automatic Back-up Oxygen System (ABOS). Existing back-up oxygen systems were manually activating. The upgrade will be completed within a year. Raptors in Alaska have already begun using the system. The Air Force denied that the cause of a fatal accident in November 2010, killing Alaskan-based F-22 pilot Captain Jeff Haney was caused by Hypoxia.


The upgrade followed the recommendation of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board to improve the Raptor’s aircrew life support system, including the installation of an automatically-activated backup oxygen system. The Air Force awarded more than $30 million in multiple contracts to Lockheed Martin to install the systems. According to Mike Connolly, ABOS Program Manager at the F-22 Life Cycle Management Center at Wright patterson, the ABOS is a simply designed system that is integrated into the breathing regulator. It has a control panel in the cockpit within the pilot’s reach so that he or she can manually turn it on if backup oxygen is needed. Unlike the current system that requires manual activation by the pilot, the ABOS is typically left in the auto position, which will automatically provide the pilot 100% oxygen in the event of a rapid decompression or low primary breathing air pressure. Automatic activation prevents the risk of oxygen cutoff when the pilot may be unconscious or blurred, as some of the pilots suffering from hypoxia reported.

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27 mai 2013 1 27 /05 /mai /2013 18:20
Raptors Returning To The Nest

5/26/2013 Strategy Page

Three F-22 Raptors land May 17, 2013, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The Raptors were flown by Reserve pilots assigned to the 302nd Fighter Squadron during a recent 477th Fighter Group monthly training weekend. During the week, the 477th, AlaskaÂ’s only Reserve unit, integrates with the active-duty 3rd Wing here. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso)

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20 avril 2013 6 20 /04 /avril /2013 16:20
F-22s Make Precautionary Landings in Kadena


April 19, 2013 by Mike Hoffman - defensetech.org


Three F-22s deployed to Kadena Air Base in Japan made precautionary landings over the period of three days in April for various reasons. However, none of the pilots complained of breathing problems that previous pilots had experienced in the fifth generation fighters, Air Force officials said.


It’s unclear what caused these precautionary landings, but the result of them have not incurred “unique flight restrictions” for the 12 F-22As deployed to Kadena, said 2nd Lt. Hope Cornin, a spokeswoman for the 18th Wing.


Two F-22s made precautionary landings on April 1, while another F-22 made a precautionary landing on April 3, Cornin said. No injuries were reported in any of these incidents.


The F-22 remains under a microscope as the fifth generation fighter continues to operate without the flight restrictions the Air Force had placed on the fleet because of complaints from pilots about a lack of oxygen in flight. The service worked for more than two years to figure out the problem and then come up with a solution.


Air Force leaders believe they have solved it by replacing the breathing regulator/anti-g (BRAG) valve, installing a new back-up oxygen system and changing the oxygen schedule for the F-22’s onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS).


Plenty remain skeptical, but there have been no reported incidents since the Air Force lifted the flight restrictions to protect pilots.


Cornin pointed out that the F-22s involved with the precautionary landings never lost their flight status because of the problems experienced by the pilots.


F-22s with the 1st Fighter Wing, JointBase Langley-Eustis, Va., and the 192nd Fighter Wing, Va. Air National Guard, deployed to Japan in January and are scheduled to return to the U.S. this Spring, Cornin said.

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