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Airmen at the USAF’s Robins Air Force Base, are performing a rewire flight programme, to sustain the flying capability of the air force’s aging F-15 Eagle aircraft.

During the five-year programme, the flight will perform a complete rewire on 122 F-15s.

In the beginning, planes coming to the hangar will be stripped down to the fuselage and the wings, and engines and avionics will be removed.

The wires will again be connected to a large, custom-built machine called a wire integrity tester, after the rewire is complete.

Before the plane is reassembled, the tester will attach a wire to each connection to ensure that the job has been done correctly.

Rewire flight chief Keith Gilstrap said the reason for the rewire is that the insulation on the existing wire is getting brittle and causing shorts.

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“Although it has not caused any crashes, it has led to a significant amount of field repair time and false troubleshooting as technicians try to figure out why aircraft systems fail intermittently,” he said.

Work on the first plane began on 13 November 2009. When fully ramped up, the technicians will be working on seven planes at a time.