RAF MILDENHALL, England – Airman 1st Class Brandy Bader, 100th Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulics journeyman, attaches stator plates to a MC-130 Combat Shadow brake using a BrakeMaster Aircraft Brake Servicing Press, June 12, 2012, at the hydraulics shop. The machine reduces the amount of time it takes to service a brake from eight hours by hand to 30 minutes. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Rachel Waller)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Senior Airman Ethan Humphries, 100th Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulics journeyman, examines rivets on a stator attachments to brake after using the BrakeMaster Aircraft Brake Servicing Press, June 12, 2012, at the hydraulics shop. The Airmen in the hydraulics shop service all KC-135 Stratotankers and 352nd Special Operations Group aircraft station here. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Rachel Waller)
by Senior Airman Rachel Waller
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
6/15/2012 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- The 100th Maintenance Squadron hydraulics backshop services all KC-135 Stratotankers and variant C-130 aircraft stationed at RAF Mildenhall.
Recently, the hydraulics shop received a new piece of equipment to help make servicing C-130 brakes easier.
The BrakeMaster Assembly and Disassembly machines use hydro-pneumatic pressure to attach and detach stator plates to and from steel aircraft brakes.
"Prior to the BrakeMaster we used an electric drill press to start the removal process of the rivets then used a manual arbour press to complete the disassembly," said Tech. Sgt. Paul Peck, 100th MXS hydraulics backshop assistant section chief.
Peck said that the old method was using a machine called a Spin Riveter and it only allowed for one rivet and press at a time.
"This took four hours per brake," said Peck. "With the new machine you place all 50 rivets on the machine which holds them in place, and then you simply hit a foot switch to press the rivet."
The new machine saves the hydraulics shop eight man hours per a C-130 brake assembly, saving the Air Force approximately $400 in man-hour savings per job.
"Utilizing the BrakeMaster Machines we now have a 100 percent repair rate of all brake plates, saving a potential $2,200 per brake in parts," said Peck.
RAF Mildenhall is the only base in U.S. Air Forces Europe to have both a BrakeMaster Disassembly and Assembly Machines fitted to assemble and disassemble C-130 brake plates.
"Having this capability means we are able overhaul C-130 Brakes with minimal part replacement costs and fewer man hours," added Peck.