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  • #31
    Originally posted by SYDCBRWOD View Post
    We (Aust) are having similar fatigue issues, there's quite a bit of discussion about doing the respar/new under wing skins retrofit to keep at least some of ours flying 'till the P-8 comes online. Unfortunately, the P8's won't be a 1 for 1 replacement - I think we are only looking to buy 10 or so. Hopefully supplemented with UAV's to cover some of the quieter sectors (Global Hawk mooted).

    The onboard expendable UAV is a decent idea - should help from both an airframe fatigue perspective, as well as improve loiter time as the aircraft can remain at a higher altitude and doesn't need to decend/climb as often.
    Another problem that plaques the Charlie Airframe is the deal that was struck with the Canadian's for them to buy the CP-140. A lot of the metal for the wings and tail on the Charlie airframes came from Canada. Junk Metal. Not to say Canada doesn't know what they are doing, just happened to supply junk metal. Can't remember the exact problem but something IIRC to do with the treatment of the metal while in production, prior to shipment to be used for the manufacture of the aircraft. Not all Charlies got the metal either. Did a one time inspection awhile back on the Charlies to determine which aircraft had the metal in question. The Alpha and Bravo airframes didn't have the fatigue problems the Charlies have. Some of them have beat harder than any of the Charlie Airframes in terms of the rigors of mission flight profiles. Some Charlies are being re-winged with wings from Bravo airframes out of the boneyard. There are quite a few Alpha frames still in use without the major fatigue problems. Charlie airframes are flight hour limited in the amount of hours that can be flown per month. Most are at 84.3 hours. Some are as low as 32. Alpha and bravo airframes still in the air are not limited. Though they do go through the same inspections as the Charlies to ensure that a fatigue issue isn't missed.
    -Not an Airbus or Boeing guy here.
    -20 year veteran on the USN Lockheed P-3 Orion.

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