C-5M maintainers learn on upgraded legacy trainers
By Roland Balik, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2019
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Aircraft Electrical and Environmental System maintainers from the 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 3, here on base, are learning about a specific C-5 aircraft system on a maintenance trainer delivered by Lockheed back in 1972 – way before any of them were born.
In 2015, the legacy C-5A/B Air Conditioning and Pressurization Systems Trainer at the Det was forecasted for discarding, but strong advocacy though various Air Mobility Command leadership channels saved the trainers. A second trainer is located at Travis AFB, California.
Fortunately for current and future maintainers, the legacy C-5A/B AC & PST has been upgraded and configured with current C-5M Super Galaxy components and instrumentation.
Leading the upgrade initiative at the Det were Samuel Stiles, 436th Maintenance Group C-5M project officer and contractor officer representative; Tech. Sgt. Harold Richard, C-5M trainer development NCO in charge, and Staff Sgt. Damien Allen, C-5M trainer development and subject matter expert, both assigned to the 373rd TRS, Det 3.
“The trainers in the upgraded configuration are valued at $5.9 million dollars each,” said Stiles. “The contracted project included two AC & PST's located at Dover and Travis AFBs, and the conversion upgrade project for the two trainers were completed in 12 months.”
The scope of the project focused on design approaches to satisfy multiple agencies’ curriculum training objectives. The trainer includes C-5M aircraft components and simulated parts that meet form, fit and function capabilities.
“The previous trainer was a C-5A/B model training device,” said Richard. “It had a lot of analog and older displays that were basically obsolete, and the recent modifications brought it up to a newer generation of technology.”
The new C-5M trainer consists of three major components: the Interactive Multimedia Instruction handheld tablet, the C-5 AC & PST consisting of two panels containing system hardware and an 82-inch monitor for visual instruction.
“So what this trainer brings to the table is, that allows us to incorporate IMI with the hardware trainer,” said Richard. “This gives the student a unique perspective on how the aircraft systems operate as well as allowing them to troubleshoot malfunctions and learn theory of operation.”
The interactive multi-media products are extracts from the aircraft Technical Orders that can be activated by trainer inputs or from simulated panels. This reinforcement approach creates a repetitive learning environment based on aircraft configurations and extracts it from supporting T.O.s.
“The AC & PST's at each location will have an annual average of 1000 hours of academic instruction,” said Stiles. “The upgrade conversion and configuration changes will make the trainers more accessible to multiple training agencies. The primary training agencies are Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and Maintenance Qualification Training Program (MQTP). The improvements will create additional training capability opportunities for C-5M aircrew, Regional Training Centers (RTCs), Contingency Response Wings (CRWs) and Air Force Reserve and Guard commands.”
The trainer will move training from a critical resource, the C-5M aircraft, and place it in a controlled environment that will maximize benefits to the student and instructor.
“Without this trainer, the instruction would be solely reliant on paper technical data and theory,” said Richard. “The aircraft, due to its confined spaces where all these components are located, is not conducive to a training environment. So this allows us to see all these components – how they interact and move without having the limitations of the aircraft.”
The 436th Civil Engineer Squadron installed an air tank and air lines that supply air pressure to AC & PST components, allowing them to operate as if they were on the aircraft.
The AC & PSTs will ensure the C-5M will have a training medium to develop highly qualified technicians throughout the life cycle of the aircraft, which is tentatively estimated through 2045.