A TH-1H trainer helicopter stands ready for delivery at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, Oct. 8, 2020. TH-1H programmed depot maintenance is proof-of-concept first at Warner Robins Air Logistic Complex and will determine the feasibility of utilizing the complex as a viable source of repair for future organic rotary wing aircraft maintenance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)
The TH-1H helicopter trainer combines the look of the UH-1H helicopter, best known as the “Huey,” with a modern cockpit.
“This is the initial crew trainer for all Air Force rotary aircraft,” said Michael Collins, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Special Operations Forces Personnel Recovery and Rotary Division Sustainment chief. “The TH-1H helicopter current fleet is assigned to the 23rd Flying Training Squadron at Cairns Army Airfield, Fort Rucker, Alabama.”
The WR-ALC provides Programmed Depot Maintenance to a variety of aircraft.
Collins said this aircraft is the first proof-of-concept for rotary depot capability at Robins Air Force Base.
“The primary purpose for the PDM program is to accomplish aircraft structural inspections and repairs at a depth and skill level greater than that available at the organizational maintenance level,” said Collins. “The components are removed to the extent required to conduct a detailed airframe inspection.”
Even though the average age of the TH-1H fleet is more than four decades old, the Air Force does not have a current rotary winged PDM sustainment location.
“Current Air Force rotary PDMs are located at and performed by Army, Navy or a government contractor,” said Collins. “This TH-1H PDM proof-of-concept induction at WR-ALC will determine feasibility of utilizing the WR-ALC as a viable source of repair for future organic rotary wing aircraft maintenance.”
There are additional benefits with Air Force PDMs, Collins said.
“This PDM effort will benefit the Air Force by providing a safe and structurally sound helicopter to facilitate specialized undergraduate pilot training while also providing TH-1H aircraft to meet the operational requirements of the Air Force pilot training program at Cairns Army Airfield,” he said.
The teamwork spanned across the two organizations.
“The SOF/PR and Rotary Division is excited with the new opportunity of partnering with WR-ALC for the successful completion of TH-1H depot maintenance,” said Collins. “As a team, we are able to pave the path for future organic rotary wing aircraft maintenance at Robins and gain valuable experience with the aircraft for both organizations.”
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