Trainer capacity rates increased in 2020

Investment in parts and installations, proactive maintenance and reorganization have helped Air Education and Training Command improve the overall mission capability rates of its trainer aircraft by 17% – far better than the overall performance of the aircraft. ‘USAF, according to figures provided by the Air Force and AETC.

Three of the AETC’s four main trainers improved more than most other Air Force aircraft in terms of mission capability rates in FY2020; Outclassed only by the F-35 attack fighter, whose MC rate increased by 16 percentage points.

Overall, the Air Force has seen an improvement of approximately 2.5% in its CW rates across all fleets, from 70.27% in FY2019 to 72.74 % in FY2020. The Air Force provided MC’s rate data to Air Force Magazine, and AETC commented on the results through a spokesperson.

Mission capable»Refers to aircraft available and ready to perform at least one of their assigned missions.

AETC has marked increases with the T-1A Jayhawk, used for advanced training of pilots on the tanker / transport route; the basic undergraduate trainer T-6A Texan II turboprop; and the T-38C advanced supersonic jet trainer. Only the T-38A saw a drop in mission capability rate in the AETC stable.

Mission Capability Rate for Aviation Education and Training Command Trainers

Coach Mission capacity rate 2019 Mission capacity rate 2020
T-1A 60.51 percent 68.43 percent
T-6A 63.29 percent 73.57 percent
T-38A 74.48 percent 71.29 percent
T-38C 63.05 percent 65.44 percent
Source: USAF

A spokeswoman for the AETC said the improvements were due to several factors. The command increased investments in sustainment – “the parts, supplies and maintenance capabilities that we needed”, and it restructured “some known issues” by rewriting aircraft maintenance contracts to improve rates. from MC, she said. There was also “sustained leadership and reorganization,” which the AETC did not elaborate on.

An engine test facility was returned to service, eliminating “long wait times to return an out-of-service aircraft” to flight status.

There was also a shift to “removal and replacement of items before established average time” between failures, so the aircraft avoided predictable breaks.

With the exception of the T-1, the failure rates of the four fixed-wing trainers remained roughly the same from fiscal year 2019 to 2020. The failure rate of the T-1 increased from 10.54% to 8.85%. The T-6’s failure rates remained the same, at 5.29%, and the T-38A and C saw marginal improvements of less than half a percentage point each, from 6.78% and 7.38%, respectively during the 2019 financial year, to 6.67% and 7.12%. percent, respectively, in FY ’20.

The aircraft is neither the youngest nor the oldest in the USAF inventory. The T-1A lasts an average of 25.9 years; the T-6 lasts an average of 14.9 years; and the T-38A and T-38C averaged 52.91 and 52.17 years, respectively, although the T-38C has undergone a more extensive life extension and modifications to include new wings, sockets and cockpit upgrades.

Among specific investments, the AETC invested $ 34 million in T-6A spares during fiscal 2020 and increased T-38 spares and repairables during fiscal year 2019, the spokesperson said.

The AETC is currently undergoing a radical overhaul of its fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilot training programs, shifting more of the program to simulation, with a corresponding decrease in overall flight hours, both by aircraft and by aircraft. pilot. The goal of the review is to become better pilots faster, according to the commander of the 19th Air Force, Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills. Aircraft utilization rates were not immediately available.

The AETC is evaluating whether to phase out the T-1, which is approaching the end of its expected lifespan, or continue to use it for the specialized membership of commercial pilots in the Army of the l ‘air. The T-38A and C will be phased out over the next decade, as the T-7A Red Hawk will supplant it for advanced pilot training. Both the T-38A and C models have received upgrades and extended life, but both will also need additional upgrades to function until the full complement of T-7A is released. online.

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