Allocating flight hours to Army helicopters
Pippin, Bradley W.
Dell, Robert F.
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Army helicopter battalions, consisting of 24 helicopters valued from $206.4 million (UH-60 Blackhawk battalion) to $432 million (AH-64 Apache battalion), allocate flight hours to helicopters using manual techniques that have caused an unnecessary decrease in battalion deployability. This thesis models the battalion's flight hour allocation problem using optimization; it develops both a mixed integer linear program and a quadratic program. The 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment of 4th Mechanized Division currently uses a spreadsheet implementation of the quadratic program developed by the author called QFHAM (Quadratic Flight Hour Allocation Model), that is available to other battalions for use with existing software and computer resources. The mixed integer linear program, called FHAM (Flight Hour Allocation Model) more appropriately models the problem, but requires additional software. This thesis validates the two models using actual flight hour data from a UH-60 battalion under both typical training and contingency scenarios. The models provide a monthly flight hour allocation for the battalion's aircraft that results in a steady-state sequencing of aircraft into phase maintenance, thus eliminating phase maintenance backlog and providing a fixed number of aircraft available for deployment. This thesis also addresses the negative impact of current helicopter battalion readiness measures on deployment and offers alternatives
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