High-velocity Entrance

Today, the first C-130 transport destined for depot work under the Air Force’s new high-velocity maintenance process is scheduled to arrive at Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center on the grounds of Robins AFB, Ga. It is the first of three C-130s that will enter the depot before the end of the year to validate the HVM method, which is designed to significantly increase aircraft availability rates. Jerry Mobley, HVM team lead at Warner-Robins, said the new construct represents “the largest philosophical and cultural change” in how scheduled maintenance is performed in the last 25 to 30 years. Under HVM, C-130s will be brought into depot every 18 months instead of every five to six years as is the current practice. By bringing them in more frequently, the Air Force thinks it can reduce the average downtime of 164 days for a C-130 during a depot cycle by half or better. The full transition to the HVM method for the C-130 fleet is expected to take about seven years. HVM is patterned on successful maintenance practices used by major commercial airlines. The Air Force has also approved it for the B-1B fleet. (Robins report by Wayne Crenshaw)