Last AH-1W Super Cobra undergoes IMP
The Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) Site Camp Pendleton has put the last AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter for the Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP), the FRCSW announced on 26 July.
The H-1W helicopter will be replaced by the new H-1Z Cobra. The Z variant of helicopter features better engines, more rigid and strong airframe and more advanced technology than the W variants. The W variant has is made primarily with sheet metal whereas the Z features more cast aluminum parts.
The last AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter was inducted on 18 July from Marine Light Helicopter Attack Squadron 775 and is scheduled to complete the IMP by the end of September 2018 and return to the squadron.
Manufactured by Bell Helicopter, the H-1W Cobra is a twin-engine attack helicopter and has primarily been used in ground support missions and special operations.
The IMP was developed to keep the aircraft mission-ready by targeting the integrity of the airframe through two assessment events: Planned Maintenance Interval-one (PMI-1) and PMI-2.
The H-1W PMI-1 occurs every 50 days at which time the aircraft are disassembled and evaluated. Prior to PMI-1, the squadron removes the aircraft’s blades, and the site’s artisans remove the intermediate and tail gear boxes, panels, engines and the transmission and inspect those areas. The fuel cells and crew seats are removed and all of the oil, fuel and hydraulic systems hoses are also changed during PMI-1.
The H-1W PMI-2 cycle is held every 78 days with inspections similar to those of the PMI-1, except the aircraft are also stripped using a particle media blast and painted.
Damages outside of the IMP scope are reported to the squadron and are ordinarily repaired as in-service repairs (ISR). The H-1W ISRs are averaged at about 140 per year.
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