Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida (PRWEB) March 10, 2013
Runway rubber buildup is one of the most recognized and easily correctable factors contributing to loss of runway friction. In wet conditions, buildup creates a potential for hydroplaning and risks to aircraft and crew.
ARA has responded to these challenges with a lightweight, deployable technology which has received attention for its capabilities and been showcased in an Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) video posted on YouTube.
The AFCEC and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida have used the specialized air transportable equipment to give airbases across Southwest Asia the capability to perform rubber removal on their runways.
“I feel this capability is something the Air Force needs in a contingency environment. With it, the Air Force can perform airfield rubber removal at a fraction of the cost of contracting the same work out, making it a very, very flexible option for combatant commanders overseas,” said Capt. Benjamin Carlson, Expeditionary Engineering Program Chief of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall AFB.
ARA’s Aircraft Operations Surfaces (AOS) Research Group developed the C-130 deployable detergent rubber removal kit for expedient rubber removal at deployed bases to enhance operational safety. This compact and lightweight kit is integrated onto a standard Toolcat vehicle. The kit occupies two pallet positions in the C-130 aircraft and requires no in-theater support other than fuel and water. The AOS Research Group also helped develop a C-130 deployable ultra-high-pressure water rubber removal system called Trackjet. The Trackjet system incorporates a vacuum in the cleaning head to remove rubber/water residue from a cleaned surface.
"The Trackjet attachment puts out about 36,000 psi from the cleaning head which resembles a large shower head," according to Capt. Kathryn Miles, U.S. Air Force Central Command A7 Operations Support chief. "The water coming out of the shower head puts out enough pressure to cut steel."
Brian Cotter, assisted by Aaron Pullen, led the development of the deployable rubber removal systems. The 15-person AOS Research Group, led by Dr. Athar Saeed, PE, provides research and development capabilities to the Department of Defense through contracts with AFRL.
Find out more information about the capabilities of the C-130 Deployable Detergent and Ultra-high Pressure Water Rubber Removal Systems.