Taking a Breather

After 26 years of use and 13,409 flight hours, the first F108-100 engine delivered to the Air Force for a KC-135R tanker has been removed from service to undergo its first refurbishment. “It was impressive that it ran this long without repair, but everything wears out eventually,” said Capt. Jacob Sullivan of the 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McConnell AFB, Kan. The engine had been on a KC-135R with McConnell’s 22nd Air Refueling Wing. The aircraft had completed two missions on March 1 and was being prepared for a third when maintainers noticed that blades on the engine’s turbofan had become unlatched and could not be successfully relatched. The engine was then removed on March 3 for transport to the Air Force depot at Tinker AFB, Okla. The repairs at Tinker may take from six to eight months. (McConnell report by SrA. Abigail Klein)