Excerpt from Minneapolis-St Paul Air Reserve Station
Supersonic water jet keeps Hercs flying
Capable of Mach 2 speeds and more precise than the width of a human hair, it’s not a new aircraft but rather a high velocity stream of water mixed with garnet.
Recently, the 934th Maintenance Squadron aircraft metals technology shop installed a new waterjet cutting machine, also known as an OMAX Computer Numerical Control Waterjet Machining Center. The machine helps Airmen increase maintenance capabilities by accelerating their ability to fabricate tools and custom parts to help get the mission done.
“Our main mission is to provide machining and welding support for aircraft, as well as many of the other shops on base,” explained Master Sgt. Eric Johnson, 934th MXS aircraft metals technology NCO in charge. Although many of the aircraft look the same they are all somewhat unique, because what most people don’t realize is a lot of them are built by hand. This means that many of the aircraft need custom parts or tools. Prior to getting this machine, it could take an Airman eight hours to produce one new part.
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