Global materials science company W L Gore and Associates has received approval for the use of Gore Skyflex Aerospace Materials products on the F-16 fighter aircraft’s wing access panels.
The approval has been received through an F-16 Maintenance Awareness Message recently issued by the F-16 programme office.
With the approval, the new wing gaskets join other Gore Skyflex Aerospace Materials products that are already in use on the fighter jets.
W L Gore and Associates Gore product specialist Ross Livington said: “These gaskets deliver consistent, reliable sealing in demanding operational environments, providing the same high-performance characteristics of Gore Skyflex Aerospace Gaskets already used on the F-16.
“The Gore Skyflex Aerospace Materials team is aggressively working to develop additional gaskets in its effort to improve aircraft availability.”
The aerospace materials help seal panels and protect against mechanical forces and adverse environments such as vibration, corrosion, high temperatures, aggressive fluids, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and other environmental hazards.
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These hazards tend to break down and weaken traditional materials, while they can cause damage to aircraft structures.
Available in a wide range of form-in-place (FIP) tapes and die-cut gaskets, the Gore Skyflex materials, unlike traditionally used two-component sealants, are lightweight and non-curing and can help accelerate the process by reducing installation steps.
To facilitate the use of gasket on the F-16 wing access panels, the interim approval guidance presented in the Maintenance Awareness Message is sufficient authorisation for procurement and use until the appropriate technical order publications are updated.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter jet that is in operation with 28 customers across the world.