TRS Arrests Ongoing Corrosion Issues Plaguing Apache Squadron
Semarang, Indonesia Civilian fleets and military squadrons operating close to or over saltwater bodies have experienced all levels of airframe and avionics corrosion. As a result, regulations such as TM 1-1500-344-23-2 and TO 1-1-691 clarify the need for periodic aircraft rinsing and inspection. That alone, however, is not always enough. Despite their best efforts, maintenance teams of TNI-AD Skadron 11 were fighting a losing battle to corrosion on a squadron of eight AH-64E Apache helicopters stationed in a coastal environment, leading to squadron grounding.
Riveer, a manufacturer of helicopter rinsing systems, visited the fleet in Semarang for an onsite examination of the corrosion, the current rinse process, and the rinse water properties. The analysis revealed that the existing rinse water contained sulfur-reducing bacteria and more than five times the allowable level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) according to TM, TO, and NAVAIR standards. With the water containing the high-level TDS and Sulfur Reducing bacteria, maintenance crews were unknowingly rinsing their fleet with a corrosion causing agent.
“The water needs to be more than clear. It must be properly filtered and treated,” said Riveer project manager Andrew Lauten. “The regulations are a good start to corrosion mitigation, but you need to be cognizant of the rinse water properties. That’s why our systems include water treatment as well as delivery.”
The squadron installed the Riveer Tactical Rinse System, which produces rinse water quality that exceeds TM 1-1500-344-23-2, TO 1-1-691 requirements by a factor of 10x, plus many other features:
- Onboard filtration of dirty base water and reduce TDS, Sulfur Reducing Bacteria through Ion Exchange, Carbon Media, Reverse Osmosis and Ozone
- Airframe Specific Rinse Programs- Pilot activated rinse programs adjust water cannon aim, pressure, flow rate, and nozzle pattern based on airframe type to ensure coverage of contaminant collection areas while avoiding direct flow to sensitive areas such as intakes, exhaust, and PNVS units.
- Active Wind Correction- Adaptive rinse program adjusts nozzle aim, flow rate, and nozzle pattern using wind direction and speed data collected from an onboard weather station. Ensures spray accuracy and airframe coverage rates in breeze up to 25 knots.
- Water Recycling- TRS recovers up to 80% of rinse water and recycles through carbon media, sand media, and absolute filtration to remove trace heavy metals, dissolved solids, and oils to enable reuse of rinse water.
- Deployable Configuration- The TRS is configured in an above-ground design to minimize site infrastructure requirements and expedite implementation.
The squadron now has airworthy aircraft and has resumed normal flight operations. Other locations using Riveer TRS Technology include Indonesian Army Aviation TNI-AD Skadron 21-Jakarta, ID (Bell 412, CASA CN235); United Arab Emirates, Joint Aviation Command- (AH-64D, CH-47); US Army SOCOM Hunter AAF- Savannah, GA (CH-47, UH-60 Blackhawk).