Wichita Falls, TX Facility Will Train Raptor Repairers
Boeing, the US Air Force 82nd Training Wing and industry
partners opened a state-of-the-art, Boeing-designed F-22
maintenance training facility at Sheppard Air Force Base, near
Wichita Falls, TX on October 19. The facility offers a realistic
training environment for future Raptor maintainers.
The Boeing Raptor team has the lead on developing F-22 pilot and
maintenance training programs in addition to building the fighter's
wings and aft fuselage, integrating the avionics and software, and
providing a third of the sustainment.
"Activating the training center at Sheppard has been a totally
collaborative effort," said Pam Valdez, Boeing director of F-22
Sustainment. "From day one, we've enjoyed a great spirit of
teamwork with our Air Force customers, industry partners and
suppliers. Working together for more than five years, we've been
able to plan, design and integrate training devices, computerized
classrooms and courseware into a 120,000-sq. ft. schoolhouse."
The US Air Force's Air Education and Training Command, and Air
Combat Command customers; Raptor teammates Lockheed Martin and
Pratt & Whitney; and subcontractors: AAI, DME, USM, Sequoyah
and AEI; the Army Corps of Engineers; along with the building
contractor, ECI Corporation, all teamed with Boeing and the 82nd
Training Wing to complete this project.
For instructional purposes, engineers have divided the aircraft
into seven full-scale, high-fidelity training devices that
replicate flight line maintenance conditions and eliminate the need
to train on operational aircraft. The devices provide hands-on
practice in inspection, operation, removal and installation,
system-testing and fault isolation. They range from simple to
highly complex, covering as few as 14 to as many as 240 separate
The armament trainer, for example, addresses 89 individual
functions that technicians must perform in maintaining the F-22's
weapons bays, missile launchers, wing pylons, countermeasures
dispenser and 20mm cannon. Each component of the trainer mirrors
its onboard counterpart as faithfully as possible in dimensions,
weight, center of gravity, color and texture.
"It's not enough simply to read about maintaining a Raptor or
watch someone else doing it on a video," said Valdez. "There's the
kinetic aspect of training -- getting physically attuned to the
task. This is critical for timely execution as well as the
technician's safety and comfort."
Students also will engage interactively with high-fidelity
software lessons in 14 computer-controlled classrooms and gain
additional hands-on experience in five labs. A Training System
Services Center staffed by contractor personnel will support the
The F-22 is built by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing
and Pratt & Whitney. Parts and subsystems are provided by
approximately 1,000 suppliers in 44 US states. F-22 production
takes place at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facilities in Marietta,
GA; Fort Worth, TX; Palmdale, CA; and Meridian, MS, as well as at
Boeing's Seattle plant.
Final assembly and initial flight-testing of the Raptor are
performed at Marietta, which recently delivered the 103rd Raptor to
the Air Force.