Protecting Critical Systems

Aerospace and military platforms are commonly used decades after their introduction and in configurations never envisioned by their original designer. When relying on aging systems, the original manufacturer may be out of business or a critical product line could no longer be supported. More on obsolescence engineering here.

This is the challenge the State of California faced with their repurposed fleet of 23 Grumman S-2T 1,200 gallon airtankers, when it became difficult to source wheels. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) uses these aircraft exclusively to protect life and property from wildfires. Without suitable wheels, the fleet was grounded.

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For full details in overcoming obsolescence, download our whitepaper below.

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Ramping up a New Source

They turned to GS Engineering and L’Anse Manufacturing to understand the requirement of the Grumman wheel standard, to ensure the new wheel would not only meet the original design intent, but also meet the current specifications. Following the definitions process, the team: 

  • Captured the original geometry
  • Characterized the tolerances
  • Investigated material properties 
  • Evaluated stresses under load cases
  • Created a technical data package
  • Produced a prototype
  • Validated testing
  • Coordinated component production

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