Fire-response system tested as F­-35 hangar nears completion

Fire-response system tested as F­-35 hangar nears completion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District is taking no chances that a rare but catastrophic aircraft fire could destroy one of the U.S. Air Forces’ new F-35 Lightning II jets.

The Corps is completing construction on an $18.5 million hangar at Hill Air Force Base. The jet hangar is designed to house up to six F-35 jets, allowing operators to provide maintenance and support to the advanced aircraft in a safe, state-of-the-art facility.

One of the safety features is its fire-suppression system.

The Corps recently performed a foam dump test, pumping nearly 1,000 gallons of water per minute into five overhead outlets, where it mixes with foam and is rapidly expelled to extinguish any potential jet fire.

The foam dump is one of the final tests before the nearly 76,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to be complete later this year.

 It was a lot of fun to be involved in this project and building a facility that helps the Air Force maintain the F-35 and also defend and protect this country,” said Tom Stonehocker, project engineer and architect for the Sacramento District.

Hill Air Force Base expects to receive 72 F-35 jets, and the Corps is a crucial partner in constructing a number of facilities in support of the installation’s mission.

The F-35 Lightning II is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fighter and has enhanced capabilities that make it the world’s most advanced multirole fighter. It will replace the aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years.

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