The aggressive timetable to support incoming F-35 fighter deliveries would be negatively impacted without mission-critical fuel system upgrades. Major General Eichorn, Air Force Flight Test Center Commander, stated that Edwards AFB fuel system failure was the number one risk to not successfully accomplishing F-35 testing. Any delays to the F-35 testing as a result of fuel system failure would be unacceptable.
To prevent system failure, Weston completely refurbished two type III fueling systems, including the installation of new programmable logic controller circuits and electrical infrastructure, installation of three commercial fuel truck offload stations, inspection and repair of seven JP-8 aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and 11 ground fuel ASTs, and installation of 10 new refueling parking spaces. Despite the challenges of working in extremely hot weather, frequent dust and sand storms, and multiple subcontractors dispersed across 30 square miles at different locations, Weston ensured Edwards AFB fuel systems have the necessary upgrades to ensure continued support throughout the next several decades. We continually communicated and coordinated with all stakeholders at the base and with USACE and U.S. Air Force (USAF) headquarters officials to manage specific tasks and work locations; we often stopped work at one facility to begin work at another to ensure operational fueling systems were available to meet the stringent testing and development timelines for USAF’s newest fighter aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II.
Weston partnered with knowledgeable and experienced subcontractors to provide the client with state-of-the-art fueling system components capable of taking it well into the next century to support the warfighter. Weston’s constant communication and innovative approach to problem solving ensured an antiquated system was brought to next-generation standards. To date, the testing and development of the F-35 has not missed a single test parameter as a result of fueling systems.