A reliability centered maintenance analysis of aircraft control bearings used in the Navy's S-3 aircraft
King, Merrill F
Eaton, Donald R.
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This thesis uses the Naval Air Systems Command Integrated Reliability Centered Maintenance Program software (IRCMS) to analyze the performance of aircraft control bearings used in the flight control system of the Navy's S-3 aircraft. The IRCMS is used to determine whether changes can be made in preventative maintenance procedures, or if redesign of the system is warranted. We show in our analysis that each bearing should be redesigned. In our research, we analyzed and established a historical bearing failure data baseline of current reliability and maintenance costs. We developed a mathematical model to determine the effects of using improved bearings, currently available from commercial manufacturers, on bearing reliability and life cycle costs. We show that failure rates can be reduced by 50 percent, and maintenance costs can be reduced by 48 percent, which represents $16,000 in annual savings over the remaining life of the aircraft. We show that an increase in bearing and flight control system reliability is important from the aspect of aircrew safety, and reduces the exposure of aircrews to the potential of in-flight failures
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