Modifications save Air Force millions

Jeremy Goldin, anti-skid engineer, holds a model of the anti-skid system while Ronald Crabtree (left), hydraulics specialist, and Todd Walker (right), engineer, all from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, look on. A modification team spent three days touring 21 C-130s for the development of a new anti-skid system projected to be installed in about 2010. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Steele Britton)

Jeremy Goldin, anti-skid engineer, holds a model of the anti-skid system while Ronald Crabtree (left), hydraulics specialist, and Todd Walker (right), engineer, all from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, look on. A modification team spent three days touring 21 C-130s for the development of a new anti-skid system projected to be installed in about 2010. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Steele Britton)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The latest in modifications for the Air Force's tactical workhorse, the C-130 Hercules, is set to debut with the installation of an improved landing gear, carbon brakes and a new anti-skid system. 

A team of engineers and specialists from the 463rd Airlift Group here, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, spent three days recently discussing possible modifications and experimenting with braking systems on 21 different aircraft here. 

The improvements will benefit the Air Force with a $250 million savings over the lifetime of the anti-skid system. The projected time-frame to begin this improvement is 2010 with a completion date of 2013. 

"The current brakes can handle approximately 200 landings, but with the new system the C-130s will be able to land safely approximately 2,000 times," said Master Sgt. Kurt Hinxman, AMC Aircraft Hydraulics system manager. "The wheels will have a longer life; maintenance Airmen won't have to change systems as often, and brake-fires will be greatly reduced. All of these benefits save the Air Force time and money in the long run." 

"I have been with the team working on the project for about a year now, and I see a high priority on this because the current system is the second oldest system on the C-130 right now," said Jeremy Goldin, anti-skid engineer from the 515th Combat Sustainment Squadron, Hill AFB. 

Approximately 600 aircraft will be a part of this improvement, according to Tech. Sgt. Mark Williams, 463rd AG anti-skid team leader. Knowing that the project isn't through the complete approval process, the installation won't come for a few years, said Sgt. Williams; however, this is one of the first steps in improving the maintenance side of operations.