Better Bulkhead Fittings

Posted 20 June 2012

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, recently developed both a new, stronger aluminum alloy and a new die forging process to greatly reduce cracking in C-5 underfloor bulkhead end fittings. The cracks, caused by stress corrosion, led to increased maintenance cost and reduced the amount of cargo that could be carried. The existing replacement fitting design proved unsatisfactory as new parts would often crack during the machining process and also had a shorter lifespan than original parts. All ninety-two fitting shapes required for the end fittings can now be produced using just two separate forging dies. The new fittings are now being installed in C-5s at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia.