Riveer is getting ready to install one of its largest and most sophisticated systems yet in early December of this year. Commissioned by Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to support aircraft maintenance, Riveer’s BirdBath Clear Water Rinse System was designed to prevent corrosion which can be caused by residue build-up on aircraft which fly over or near salt water.
Any aircraft stationed near salt water must be clear water rinsed at least once every 15 days, according to Air Force regulations; additionally, if one of these aircraft flies then it must be rinsed after the last flight of the day. At a high-traffic base like Andersen, this necessary procedure can take up a lot of already scarce resources and space.
“When this rinse is not conducted regularly, the costs and time to replace parts and grind down corrosion is astronomical," said Maj. Shane Wehunt, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander. "Once the rust starts happening, it has to be ground out or else it will keep growing, even if the aircraft goes to a less humid location… [BirdBath] will pay for itself pretty quickly through the amount saved in the cost of corrosion control."
This taxi-through carwash-like system sprays a massive amount of water through eight oscillating water cannons positioned in the four corners of a giant concrete pad. It also has a spray bar which spans the entire platform for cleaning undercarriage and underwing. Comprised of Riveer Engineered nozzles called APAFN or Adjustable Pattern Adjustable Flow Nozzles, the spray bar is designed in a way that makes it impossible for any parts to become detached once they’ve been installed, or in other words, “FOD-proof” (Foreign Object Damage - proof).
Operated by a touch screen panel from the air traffic control tower, BirdBath adjusts its spray pattern to accommodate different sizes of aircraft and also compensates for wind speed and direction automatically. All of the pumps, drives and tanks that feed the system are housed underground in order to comply with airfield obstruction regulations.
Not only does BirdBath wash aircraft more efficiently than traditional methods, it also recovers and recycles the water it uses so that it may be reused to wash the next aircraft. Riveer is known for its treatment systems which send dirty wash water through various stages of filtration including oil/water separation and ozone injection in order to make the water clear enough to use again safely in future rinses.