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If conditions change, can the plane change? A tool to evaluate

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1750 Commerce Center Blvd. North Fairborn, OH 45324
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: If conditions change, can the plane change? A tool to evaluate
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $743,406.00


This proposal outlines a program of work that will develop a test procedure to identify faulty wing bearings without removing the wing assemblies from the aircraft of Navy F-14 aircraft. The acoustic emission (AE) NDE technique, outlined in this proposal, would provide a nonintrusive, insitu method of inspecting wing pivot bearings. The proposed method would also provide insight to the wing pivot bearing integrity, and help to schedule aircrft on a more empirical basis. Currently, the Navy's F-14 wing pivot bearings are being changed according to a time schedule or when wing sweep causes excessive noise in the bearing. The problems with this method is that replacing the bearing on a set time schedule is costly since some bearings do not need to be replaced. Also, some wing pivot bearings fail before the scheduled replacement time, thus causing structural problems. When a failure of this type occurs, both the pilot and aircraft are at risk since the dynamic loading experienced in flight could cause cracking in the box beam. Safety-of-flight and effective maintenance could be improved if it were not for access limitation that accompany the wing pivot joint. This limitation causes the removal of the wing to gain access to the bearing, which amounts in large sums of time and money. Thus, by using acoustic emission nondestructive testing techniques, valuable information concerning the structural integrity of the wing pivot bearing and wing box could be acquired without the removal of the wing assemblies.

Principal Investigator:

Donald J. Pointer

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Klein Associates, Inc.
582 E. Dayton-Yellow Spring Road Fairborn, OH 45324

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No