Lockheed F-22 Fighter Repair Problems
The Washington Post reported that mean time between critical failures in the F-22 is only 1.7 hours pushing it’s cost fly to $44,000 per hour. On average, the Post reports, only 55% of the fleet is available to fulfill missions.
In Six Sigma terms, that’s a 45% defect rate or less than two sigma.
The 4-50 Rule: The most common cause of maintenance problems: the radar-absorbing skin is vulnerable to rain and abrasion. Rain and abrasion seem like things that should have come out in a failure modes and effects analysis somewhere along the line.
What are the root causes of this problem?
Requirements? Design? Engineering? Production? Time will tell.
Years ago I read a story about the SR-71 Blackbird having problems with rust in the welds. It turned out that Burbank water supply had an algae bloom in the summer that increased the chance of rust in a weld. They filtered the water and the rust problem went away.
There’s always a cause and effect.
The question is: How do we mistake-proof the process to prevent these errors?