OREGON AERO RECOGNIZED
OREGON AERO RECOGNIZED FOR
CONTRIBUTIONS TO U.S. AIR FORCE
F-22 RAPTOR LIFE SUPPORT TASK FORCE
Director’s Award Latest Involvement in F-22 Program
SCAPPOOSE, Ore. (November 5, 2013)—Oregon Aero, Inc. employees have received a U.S. Air Force Director’s Award for the company’s contributions to the F-22 Life Support System Task Force, a program which restored the F-22 Raptor fighter jet fleet to active service. The fleet had been grounded when some pilots experienced symptoms resembling those caused by low blood oxygen levels.
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Oregon Aero, collaborating with the Air Force Research Laboratory, designed and manufactured a pilot helmet ear seal to accommodate the installation of an oxygen sensor into the ear seal to collect data for study by Air Force investigators. The Oregon Aero ear seal enabled the sensor to function properly while still providing a comfortable, pain-free, high-noise-attenuating ear seal for the pilots. Oregon Aero personnel also managed the integration of the helmet components, working with multiple military contractors and delivering more than 435 helmet systems to several locations on budget and ahead of schedule.
“Oregon Aero’s dedication to meeting and exceeding delivery milestones allowed the Air Force to field the systems in record time, improving the flight safety of our most important aerial assets — people,” commented Michael Sedillo, Lead Project Integrator at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Data collected by the oxygen sensor and a pulse oximeter installed on the flight ensemble eliminated the possibility that low blood oxygen saturation was the cause of symptoms experienced by the F-22 pilots. It was later determined that malfunctioning valves in the pressurized vest ensemble was the cause, restricting pilots’ breathing during high-G maneuvers.
The Director’s Award presented to Oregon Aero employees was signed by Major General Charles W. Lyon, Air Combat Command Director of Operations and by Colonel Gregory M. Gutterman, F-22 Systems Program Director, who called the F-22 challenge “the Air Force’s toughest Life Support System issue in recent memory.”
The Award to Oregon Aero employees states, “Your outstanding efforts and personal sacrifices on the F-22 Life Support System Task Force returned the world’s most capable fighter to fully mission capable, restored confidence in the F-22 Raptor, and recaptured acquisition excellence for the F-22 Program and our Air Force.”
“We were proud to participate in solving the issue facing the Air Force and to help keep F-22 pilots safe,” said Tony Erickson, Oregon Aero Chief Operating Officer. “Oregon Aero has provided safer, pain-free helmets and seating to military pilots for nearly 25 years. In this situation, once again our employees worked together to provide an innovative solution to a pressing problem.” Erickson noted the Oregon Aero ear seal used in this F-22 project can be adapted for other helmets to measure oxygen saturation and collect data regarding pilot performance.
Oregon Aero designed and manufactures the pain-free, safer Oregon Aero® APECS® I (Advanced Performance Escape Cushioning System I) ejection seat cushion system, standard for the F-22 Raptor. Oregon Aero aviation helmet liners, ear seals and microphone covers also are used by F-22 pilots.