The F/A-18 aircraft has been flying since the late 1970s and has been a multi–role workhorse for both the Navy and Marine Corps. As with many of the DOD air platforms, wiring issues are a constant concern, and the number one reason for grounding.
Through a CTMA initiative with Eclypse International, the “Electrical Wire Interconnect Systems” (EWIS) program has proven so successful at discovering wiring issues that the Navy and Marines have awarded Eclypse International $15M. Under the new collaborative effort, the Automatic Wire Test Set (AWTS) will be strategically inserted during Planned Maintenance Intervals (PMI) to examine and evaluate aircraft electrical systems such as the power system and relay contactor components.
A technology known as Certification Test Protocol (CTP) developed on a related CTMA initiative with Eclypse and the Army at Fort Campbell, KY will be used. CTP is measurement methodologies proven to detect underlying conditions that cause intermittent events leading to Cannot Duplicate (CND) and No Fault Found (NFF) repairs. Utilizing this technology at PMI as a preventive maintenance tool will reduce if not eliminate, in-flight intermittent events.
The same methods are being implemented for use on the F-15 aircraft at Warner Robbins Air Force Base, the V-22 aircraft (USMC/USAF), and now several Army maintenance facilities beyond the initial testing site of Fort Campbell.