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Flareless Fittings
Service N e w
Edi t or: Hlram D. Abernathy
Associate Edi t or: Robert M. Browder
Edi t i ng &Publ i shi ng S t a f : James A. Loftln,
Susan Mann, Wllllam R. Smith
Ar t & Production: Hugh N. Ball, Carlton C. Gantt
. . .
Flareless Fittings . . . 3
Hydraulic Contamination . . . . . . 8
. . . . . . . . .
Paneloc Fasteners ......
Keep it in the Road. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
. . . . . . . . . . 463L Loading Demonstration. .18
Information contained in this quarterly issue of the Lockheed
Service News is considered by Lockheed-Georgia Company to
be accurate and authoritative. It should not be assumed,
however, that this material has received approval by the
United States Air Force or any other governmental agency
unless i t is specifically noted. Written permission must be
obtained from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation before repub-
lishing any material in this issue. The following marks are
registered and owned by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation:
"Lockheed," "Hercules." Address all communications to
Lockheed-Georgia Company, Marietta, Georgia: Attention,
Service News Editor.
Flareless fittings, so~rletimes called Ermeto or MS flare- application of sufficient force to cause tne sleeve's
less, are not new to the aircraft industry, nor are they cutting edge to bite into the tube wall. The depth of
new to the C-130. All hydraulic lines in the C-130B the bite and thus the force applied, is quite critical.
series aircraft and up use these fittings of the MS 21900 Too little will result in leakage and too much will
series. distort the tube or break the sleeve cutting edge.
A Stronger Fitting
The obvious difference, elimination of the flare on the
tubing, is not at all obvious when the lines are in-
stalled. Flareless fittings provide a reliable means of
gripping and sealing fluid lines. There are, however,
considerable differences in assembly and maintenance
between flareless and flared fittincs. The initial cou-
Second, when the fitting is connected, the torque action
in tightening the nut on the connector further tightens
the sleeve to tube grip. Ideally, this additional torque
and the spring action of the sleeve ensures a good
seal and helps keep the nut from loosening when sub-
jected to vibration. But if the torquing is overdone,
the sleeve or tube will be damaged.
piing of flared fittings has always been a problem. It
wasn't uncommon for a production line aircraft to
have over one hundred leaks in its first pressure check
of a plumbing system. Service experience has shown,
especially for jet aircraft with their particular ranges
of vibration, that a Hared fitting frequently loosens
and leaks. The flareless fitting is stronger, less prone
to structural failure. It can be disconnected and re-
connected many times without losing its sealing qual-
ities, provided that proper procedures are followed;
in addition, assembly to the tube is fairly simple.
Disconnect Tips
A Hareless fitting, however, may be more difficult to
disconnect as it takes twice the distance to withdraw
a tube from a Hareless connector in comparison to
removal distance for a flared fitting. This problem can
be solved by putting at least one bend in the tubing to
provide spring action. Where the tubing runs between
thin wall areas and bends are not possible, connectors
may be used to make removal easier. Sometimes, with
the larger size tubes, both ends must be loosened in
order to withdraw one end from the connector.
Do Not Overtighten
There is also a habit problem involved in installing
and maintaining flareless fittings. After years of stop-
ping leaks by tightening the nut, it's hard to adjust to
the Hareless fitting way. This must be learned, how-
ever, because overtightening flareless fittings to correct
leaks causes more leaks and results in permanent
damage t o t he sleeve or tube. With flareless fittings,
the maximum torque group has to go.
The Inside Story
We believe that an understanding of what goes on
inside the fitting during presetting and tightening will
eliminate most of the problems. First, the fitting sleeve
serves as a seal, and the tube end serves only to seat the
tube at the proper position for presetting. In the flare-
less installation the sleeve is preset to the tube by the
Several Preset Methods
There are several variations in the method for pre-
setting a sleeve. They involve everything from auto-
matic presetting tools, through hand presetting adapter
and torque wrench, down to the most simple field
method involving use of a connector and a couple of
wrenches. We'll describe only one.
7 /
L ~ ~ l T l ~ ~ EDGE
Lockheed Service News No. 45
Here's One Method
(All tube assemblies should be proof pressure tested
Cut the tubing end square, deburr, and clean. Do
before installing in a system.)
not chamfer any more than necessary to remove burrs.
Insert the tube into a nut and then a sleeve, with the
sleeve pilot and cutting edge toward the end of the
tube. (A mandrel or smooth drill rod, slightly smaller
than the ID of the tube, is desirable to support the
tube wall during preset operation.) Use a presetting
tool or a flareless fitting connector (preferably steel)
as an aid in drawing torque required to set the sleeve.
Insert the tube against the seat of the connector or pre-
setting tool; then tighten the nut finger tight, jiggling
the works around a bit as necessary to take the slack
out of the connection. The reverse angle seat is de-
signed to prevent the tube wall from collapsing during
presetting, but the mandrel helps.
Next, put the connector or presetting tool in a vise or
hold it with a wrench and tighten the nut slightly
(until you can't turn the tube in the sIeeve with Iight
pressure of thumb and finger.) This is just enough to
bring the sleeve cutting edge up to the point before it
starts to bite into the tube. Then turn the nut exactly
the number of turns indicated in the following table.
This will make the sleeve grip and bite into the tube
the required amount. Now, back off the nut and, after
cleaning, this end is ready for installation in a system.
Summer Quarter 1964
One more thing. The connection you used for preset-
ting, providing you had no presetting tool, should not
be installed on an airplane. It has undergone consid-
erably more stress than it would ever undergo on the
airplane, and it may be damaged. If you used a steel
connector, you can use it three or four more times as
a presetting tool-but no more than that. If you used
an aluminum connector, throw it away. (Use alumi-
num connector in emergency only.)
Some flareless fittings on a C-130 installation are pictureo above. Although their general appearance IS stmllar to AN nuts on
flared tubing, installation and tightening are entirely different. The torque putty, when unbroken, indicates that the nut has
not turned since installation. The flexible hose fittings require their own tightening treatme
The Hookup
To reconnect a tube assembly with a previously set
sleeve, go through the following steps:
Insert the tube ends into the connectors. This should
require no force, and the center lines of the tube and
connector should line up. The tube should be free in
j ts fittings.
Run the nut down on the connector until it bottoms.
This has been variously described as finger tight or
until an initial rise i n torque is felt, both of which can
be confusing. Try running it down finger tight if in
doing so you can make the nut bottom. If you cannot
make it bottom with your fingers, check for trash or
misalignment. As a last resort, use a wrench cau-
tiously. Then feel for the initial rise i n torque. What
you are looking for is the first indication that the nut
has started to tighten, not the resistance to bottoming
that may exist.
After this initial rise i n torque, tighten the nut an
additional 1/6 turn (one flat of the hex nut ).
free. If it should leak, an additional 1/6 turn and n o
more is permitted on the nut.
During presetting, the force applied by the nut to the
sleeve is applied through mating conical surfaces which
cause the sleeve to grip the tube, thus reducing opera-
tional stresses transmitted to the sealing surfaces of the
sleeve. Also, the sleeve bows outward when the nut
is tightened and it acts as a spring washer to keep the
connection tight. If the nut is tightened excessively
the tube and sleeve are permanently deformed, sealing
is lost, and the spring action of the sleeve is destroyed.
Stopping Leaks
Now suppose we have a situation on a previously satis-
factory installation that is now leaking. The minimum
and maximum torque are printed on a decal wrapped
around the tube. Never, however, retighten a flareless
fitting without loosening it first. This is to assure
that the sleeve's spring action is retained. If torque
wrenches are available, a slight loosening and subse-
quent retorquing within the decalled range may do the
trick. If no torque wrench is available, loosen and use
the torque-rise-plus-one-flat method previously dis-
cussed. Still leaks? Then disconnect and examine the
That's it. The coupling should be tight and leak- fittings for a damaged sleeve or tube. One point often
Lockheed Service News No. 45
overlooked is the connector. Many times the leak will stop to think about it, that the flareless fitting and
be caused by a rough or worn elbow, union or the like. the AN fitting on the other side of the adapter will be
More information on flareless fittings can be found in
T.O. 44H1-1-10, T.O. 1C-130B-2-3, and various manu-
facturers' catalogs.
Or, trash in the mating surfaces can cause leaks.
System oil is usually used for lubricating as necessary
during presetting operations. For example, use red
petroleum base (MIL-H-5606) hydraulic fluid to lubri-
cate hydraulic system fittings. And, of course, you
should always drain pressure and fluid from the area
3f the tube before attempting any of the leak stopping
Connecting Flareless To AN
There comes a place i n almost every system where the
flareless fitting will connect, through an. adapter, to
i n AN fitting. This usually occurs at the junction of
a rigid tube and a flexible hose. I t is obvious, if you
torqued differently.
M7e have a bit of help in this situation. The fitting
manufacturers incorporate V-shaped grooves or nicks
in the hex edges of fittings that adapt from AN
flared tube to flareless tube. These nicks, whether on
plain or bulkhead adapters, are fair warning to the
mechanic that there is a fiareless fitting on one end
of the adapter and an AN fitting on the other. Where
bulkhead adapters are involved the nicks, of course,
will be visible on only one side of the bulkhead. So a
close examination of all bulkhead fittings may be ir
order before tightening.
The AN side will require the amount of torque called
out for the particular hose fitting involved. And the
flareless side will require the same tightening as dis-
cussed under previous subtitles i n this article, with
the same caution: DO NOT OVERTORQUE THE
wnIv. ;l I w r n h GL I ..I I ~ I V V I I Y I ~ I I Y I \ L L
O.D. .018 .020 .022 .025 .028 .035 .042 .049 .058 .065 .072 .083 .095 . I 09 . I 20 .134
O.D. .022 .025 .028 .035 .042 .049 .058 .065 .072 .083 .095 . l o9 . I 20 . I 34
1 /8 1 1 1 6 1 1 1 1 1
3/16 1 1 / 6 1116 11/6 1 1 I I 1 1 1
Summer Quarter 1964
The term con game immediately brings visions of sly
tricky ways of relieving-some unsuspecting victim of
his loot. I n this meaning we are thinking about a con-
fidence game, where the confidence is misplaced and
the result is less than happy for the victim. We are,
however, talking about hydraulic contamination. This
shows a danger in using abbreviations, but the title
is really not too far afield; a large percentage of
hydraulic contamination and resulting damage is
caused by misplaced confidence.
With the advent of hydraulic boosted control surface
operation, system cleanliness has become much more
important. I n the simpler hydraulic systems, you
could usually operate the gear and flaps for one more
landing in an emergency.
There was, of course, the possibility that a clogged
return filter could cause dragging brakes (and still
can). And there were always limits beyond which the
simplest system refused to work.
When closer tolerances came in with spools, valves,
and actuators of advanced design, clean systems be-
came a double must.
No surface is completely clean. This fact leaves a
problem as to how clean a system must be. Certain
criteria have been set up (more about these on page
12) . The final word has not been said and will
not be said for some time. Several long term studies
are in progress and will probably continue as the state
of the art improves and advances.
There are, however, some guidelines . . . knowledge of
the particular system and its history is probably the
most important factor in controlling hydraulic con-
The C-130 airplane is designed to operate with hy-
draulic systems containing filter elements of 10 micron
nominal size. There are 25,400 microns to one inch.
A 40 micron particle is usually considered to be at
the lower limit of visibility. You can sometimes see a
10 micron particle with the unaided eye, but this is
seen as a dust mote floating in the air in the light of
sunbeams. Such a particle is about one tenth the diam-
eter of a human hair. You can't determine the level
of contamination by visual inspection, you have to
use other methods. (Service News No. 39 has an ar-
ticle on filter cleaning which includes methods and
tests.) Let's now consider some other characteristics
of small contaminating particles.
We have decided that particles smaller than ten mi-
crons can pass freely through the filter screen. As the
screen size is rated on the basis of spherical particles,
it is likely that some particles less than 10 microns in
cross section, but as long as 50 to 150 microns, may also
pass. As this process continues the system becomes con-
taminated and a cake begins to build up on the filter
screens. A clogged filter now becomes a very efficient
filter and will stop some of the particles smaller than
10 microns.
When this buildup occurs, it is accompanied by a
Lockheed Service News No. 45
buildup in differential pressure. At some point in the
cake buildup, a rapid buildup of pressure differential
occurs and the filter bypass opens allowing hydraulic
fluid (and contaminants) to circulate unfiltered
through the system to lodge in the first closed filter
downstream. Lacquers and other sticky substances in
the oil and in the system also get involved in the
cake building process when the system oil gets hot.
And, again, you cannot determine the amount of
filter clogging by visual inspection.
Sources of Contamination
Ground test carts, test couplings, ports and lines open
to windblown sand and dust, dirty cans and spouts,
and numerous other sources are ready to contaminate
systems at the Grst opportunity. The hydraulic pumps,
of course, supply their share of system contamination
when they occasionally break up. With, however, the
possible exceptions of internal breakups, most other
contamination sources can be controlled by careful
attention to al! ,details involved.
If hydraulic pump failure is suspected, you would
check the pressure line and case drain filters. Usually,
however, that is not enough. None of the GI30 pres-
sure line filters have bypasses. Where case drain lines
return to the reservoirs, the case drain line filters and
the reservoir filters should also be checked. All C-130
return lines have filters with bypasses. It follows
that a clogged return filter would bypass contamina-
Summer Quarter 1964
tion. Further, surges may cause a bypass to open even
if the filter were not clogged.
A contaminated ground test cart can contaminate a
whole squadron and any transient aircraft that may
use it. Conversely any aircraft, transient or otherwise,
can contaminate the ground cart and start a hard-to-
stop cycle. Cart contamination can, of course, come
from as many sources as aircraft contamination. The
cart contamination cycle is often further aggravated
by the too-general practice of trying to clean a dirty
airplane system with test cart flushing only. We'll
have more to say about this later.
Hydraulic test stands furnish their share of contam-
inants, too. And here is an area where, according to
reports, too much faith is placed in the test stand
hydraulic filters. Test stands which incorporate air
filters and air receivers seem to have been neglected in
some respects. Even where the hydraulic components
have been handled with extreme care and attention
to cleanliness, the air filters and receivers have some-
times been neglected. Failure to drain and clean air
receivers and to service and replace air filters when
required may allow contaminants to reach the fluid
reservoirs. This usually happens when the fluid reser-
voirs are overfilled and fluid flows in the air receivers.
Later pressurization of the test stand passes this con-
taminated fluid back into the reservoir.
There are also the various sources of contamination
which always stand ready to do their dirty work when
s system is serviced. In addition to keeping test
couplings capped, be sure they are clean before con-
necting them to a system. Contamination probability
increases when a hydraulic reservoir is filled directly
j from a can or container instead of from a good clean
pressure fill rig with a good filter. "Dirt" may enter
the reservoir any time the fill cap is removed.
Leaving lines and valve ports open and installing con-
taminated components also make for a dirty system.
Once you begin to be clean conscious, you can think
of many other sources that will cause trouble, if
proper precautions are not taken.
Filter Trapping Ability
Discussions of a filter's ability to trap contamination
have raged, reached a ridiculous level, and are now
beginning to settle down to something that can be
dealt with. There is fairly general agreement now that
absolute ratings for particle retention are not abso-
lu tely that.
A metal mesh screen filter has some absolute reten-
tion, with an area of tolerance at the openings and
recognizing that some long thin particles are going
to slip through. Where filters are made of fairly
durable materials, there is also less chance of media
migration (parts of the filter moving downstream) .
No absolute retention can be determined for depth
filters. They can, in spite of this, be very effective in
removing small particles. In addition, they are not
subject to quite such an early clogging as screen
filters. They are, therefore, good for handling dirt.
Depth filters, though, are generally the guilty culprits
in media migration.
Back to the retention ratings . . . for example, take a
metallic filter rated at 10 microns under MIL-F-5504A.
Its absolute rating is 25 microns, which means that
nothing larger than 25 microns will pass unless the
filter bypasses. Its average pore size is 16 to 17 microns,
with some pores as large as 25. This assures good
retention of intermediate particles, while particles
below 10 microns will generally pass.
The same considerations are valid in other retention
ratings. For instance, your hydraulic test cast filters
which are rated at 5 microns would have an absolute
rating near 15 microns. Check the filter ratings on
Lockheed Service News No. 45
your test carts. If you have 10 micron filters with no
absolute rating, for instance, you may be circulating
a dirty system through a 'dirtier system.
Contamination Levels
It is evident that some method for determination of
contamination levels must be devised; several have
been. In fact, there are almost as many specifications
for allowable fluid contamination as there are writers
on the subject. We'll talk about one that works tor
rhe C-130 and let it go at that. The simplified chart
In page 12 divides the contamination level into
three classes. Class IV is about as good as you can
expect to get and, if at all possible, you don't want
to go beyond Class VI. In order to get to the takeoff
position with a Class V or VI contamination level,
you may have to insist on a Class IV level in newly
installed components and after certain other types of
rework that require the system to be opened.
The sample must be large enough for system (sample)
contamination to be read and interpreted above the
background contamination. ~ e t e r mi n i n ~ background
contamination is critical and is usually done by a
trained lab technician or engineer.
4. Do the same thing each time. Variations in
technique can cause false readings. And, while
mistakes. are not encouraged, the same mis-
takes each time would be more likely to give
good relative indications of the contamination
level than would constant variations in tech-
After deciding what level of contamination you can
tolerate, there must be sampling and checking. The
checking will probably be done by a laboratory
using microscope techniques. Sampling may be done
by lab technicians, but considerable sample taking
will probably be done by maintenance crews in the
field. Regardless of who takes the samples, there are
more mistakes made in sampling than in analytical
techniques. Some considerations in sample taking are:
1. Be careful to avoid extraneous contamination.
A bottle is difficult to clean. For example, one
recommended procedure requires two rinses
with filtered* petroleum ether, one wash in
hot detergent solution, a hot water rinse, two
rinses with filtered* distilled water, a rinse
with filtered* isopropyl alcohol (to remove
water), and a final rinse with filtered* pe-
troleum ether.
*Millipore filter or equal.
(Clean bottles can usually be obtained from your lab.
However, a once-clean bottle packed in excelsior or
unwrapped and exposed in a work area for a little
while is no longer clean.)
2. The sample must be representative. Here
again knowledge of the system and its history
would help decide how and where to take
the particular sample.
3. The sample must be adequate. Where a large
capacity fuel system might require a one
gallon sample to be adequate, a small to
medium hydraulic system could be sampled
from a much smaller quantity.
Summer Quarter 1964
'1 Ile actual sample taking is fairly simple; flush the
valve (at least 200 cc) into a waste container, put
the sample container under the valve and take the
sample after flushing and while valve is open, remove
the container and then close the valve.
C-130's from AF 62-1828 and up have a drain valve
installed in each system. Pictures of the valves are
shown on page 12. On other serials you will need
to break system lines at various places to take samples.
Cleaning a Contaminated System
Instructions for Hushing and bleeding the C130B,
C-130E and HC-130B (formerly SC-1308) are de-
tailed in T.O. 1C-130B-2-3. Less complete instructions
tor Hushing the A models are in section 2 of T.O.
1C-13OA-2-3. The Marines and Navy use NAVWEPS
0 1-75 GAA-2-3.
When flushing a contaminated system, extreme care
should be exercised to insure that contamination is
being removed instead of being recirculated from the
test cart back into the system.
When Hushing a dirty system, first flush through the
lines only and run the fluid into a waste container.
The highest approved flow rate should be used and
backflushing may help. Then hook up to bypass the
valves with flex hose and circulate the fluid through
the lines only.
At this point, experience and official directives de-
termine whether to remove and clean the valves and
actuators before proceeding with the flush job. A lab-
oratory analysis will indicate whether contamination
has passed on through the valves and into the actua-
tors. Even with all of the evidence, experience, and
directives as guides, judgment is necessary in making
the decision.
After the system is reassembled and filled, all com-
ponents should be operated with the ground test cart
or aux system as applicable. (Again, the cart must be
clean.) Now for an engine run and operation of all
controls. After this run, all filters should be checked
again and replaced or cleaned if necessary.
Another filter check should be made after test flight.
In spite of all the cleaning, engine and airframe vibra-
tion may dislodge some particles that had previously
refused to budge.
The first and final thing to remember is that the his-
tory and knowledge of the system are most important
aids in cleaning it and don't overlook the type of
problem reported. This is the big clue that probably
started the cleanup.
Lockheed Service News No. 45
True or not, there's a modern-day
fable about a character who makes a
comfortable living with one simple
little "sucker" bet. Seems he will walk
up to you, no matter who or where you
are, and bet you a buck that your
cigarette lighter will not light on the
first go. According to the fable, he has
found through experience that seven
out of eleven lighters will miss on the
engages cams on the stud with mating
cams in the receptacle's inner sleeve.
Then you can tighten, and the stud
and sleeve act like-a bolt.
first try. I .
There are manv such gimmicks. We
think we have found a new one. From
the reports on it, it seems like a safe
bet that a healthy percentage of me-
chanics would fail in an effort to re-
fasten an unlocked Scovill Paneloc
Fastener." Actually, it's very simple
after you've done it once.
I i
What are these Paneloc Fasteners?
Technically speaking, they are high
strength, quick release, rotary fasten-
ers. Not-so-technically, they are cam-
locking fasteners that can be tight-
ened. On the C-130, AF54-1635 and
1 up, Paneloc Fasteners are used to in-
stall the ARC-34 and ARC-25 belly
Take a look at the illustration of the
Paneloc fastener. our main concern
is with the stud, the receptacle, and
within the receptacle, the externally
threaded sleeve.
To secure the fastener, you insert the
stud into the receptacle's inner sleeve.
Push in the stud with a Phillips screw-
driver, and give it a quarter turn. This
Torquing causes the stud to turn and
the inner sleeve turns with it. As the
inner sleeve turns, it is drawn deeper
into the receptacle; this preloads the
To release the fastener, back off the
stud a quarter turn. (There's a spring
in the receptacle which makes the stud
pop out indicating "unlocked".)
O.K., what's the problem? It should
be obvious by now. When you release
the stud you didn't back off the inner
sleeve. Now as you try to secure the
fastener, t h ~ . cams on the stud won't
reach the cams on the inner sleeve.
What do you do about it? Insert the
stud into the receptacle, push in on it
with your screwdriver, and back it off
one or two turns. This causes the
inner slee,ve to back off bringing it out
far enough for re-engagement with {he
cams on the stud.
When the stod engages, it goes in very
easily. If it doesn't want to go, you
can't force it. In fact, trying to force
it will only drive the sleeve deeper
into the receptacle.
One more point: There's no positive
indication, no "feel" to it, when the
stud engages. The only way to tell is
to remove the .screwdriver and see if
the stud pops back out.
" Thi s article originally appeared i n SERVI CE NEWS more t han six years ago, January-February 1958.
And it was about six years ago that we last heard another version of the cigarette lighter fable. Th e n t he
other night on T V we saw the hero walk i nt o the night wi t h the girl and the money after successfully bet-
ting all that his lighter would light twelve times i n succession. Next day, guess what our in-box revealed:
"Maintenance personnel at this base are experiencing dificulty refastening Paneloc fasteners after an-
tenna removal." During the next three weeks two more such reports came from other parts of t he world.
W e are completely out of issue number 8 i n which this article originally appeared. Thus we are reprint-
ing i t . . . unchanged, out of respect for t he coincidence.
By Jack G. Gilley, Staff Engineer
Thi s article was written by Lockheed Stag Engineer updated including changes i n mi ni mum control
Jack Gilley and appeared i n T H E PACIFIC AI R speeds. As originally stipulated this article is not di-
FORCE FLYER of February 1962. O n t he basis of
rective i n nature. W e believe, however, that you will
requests f rom t he field, we are reprinting t he article
find i t helpful. T h e basic information is still good
as originally published.
and remains wi t hi n the scope and intent of existing
Since publication, t he flight handbooks have been directives.
The relative merits of single engine versus multiple
engine installations as the means of propulsion for
aerial ambulation will undoubtedly be the subject
of heated discussions as long as the two designs exist.
The calculations that can be made of the probability
of losing an engine at any specific time on a single
engine, twin engine, four engine, six engine, or eight
engine machine are literally endless and in fact are
pretty ridiculous. Any accident summary you may
pick up proves it can and does happen, and as the
song goes - it can happen to you.
I' he problem of losing an engine at a critical point
in the take-off phase certainly creates an unhealthy
situation for the single stove-pipe driver and the
courses of action which he may take are definitely
limited, but one problem with which he has no con-
cern at this point is of prime interest to the multi-
engine operator - that is, the complication created
by asymmetrical thrust.
The ideal aircraft, from this standpoint, would have
multiple engines in an arrangement, head to toe,
straight down the center line of the airplane. Due to
certain characteristics of most power plants, such as
inlet and exhaust areas, prop tip clearances, physical
size, interrelated damage, etc., the airframe designer
has been forced to distribute the engines spanwise
across the wing with the thrust line of the outboard
engines in some cases well displaced from the center
line of the aircraft.
Any multiple engine arrangement which results in
this displacement is subject in some degree to the
adverse affects of asymmetrical thrust. The appreciable
increase in power available and the rapid throttle
response of the turbo-propeller engine has further
complicated this problem. The farther the engine is
from the aircraft center line and the greater the
thrust it can produce, the greater the . mount of
* .
asymmetry that can result.
Unequal thrust on each side of the airplane center
line is counteracted and controlled in two ways. On
the ground the landing gear, particularly if nose
wheel steering is employed, can compensate for and
Lockheed Service New* No. As
use to an advantage reasonable applications oh
asymmetrical power. Even here the limit can be ex-
Engine run-up with excessive power applied to one
wing can impose critical loads on the nose gear struc-
ture and in slick runway conditions can cause the
nose wheel to slide or skip. The application of power
during the initial take-off roll of the C-130 aircraft
for a three engine take-off must necessarily be care-
fully controlled to prevent excessive roll-over of the
nose gear tires.
The use of nose gear steering as a control device has
definite limits. The turning moment that can be pro-
duced by the nose wheel depends on firm contact
with a surface that has a satisfactory coefficient of
friction. Obviously, lack of pressure on the nose gear
as the result of an aft center of gravity or up elevator
Summer Quarter 1964
at high rolling speeds will make nose gear steering Torque Control which provides a mechanical signal
less effective. Steering effectiveness on ice, loose snow, to the propeller to increase the blade angle, thereby
sand, or turf is greatly reduced. reducing drag on the failed engine without commit-
ting the propeller to feather.
The second method of control is by aerodynamic con-
trol of the airplane through use of the vertical fin, Additional drag reduction (less thrust asymmetry)
the rudder, and the ailerons and this degree of con-
can be realized if manual feathering is accomplished.
trol, or lack of it, determines the amount of seat
This advice is not to be construed as a recommenda-
biting that results from the loss of an outboard en-
tion for a "snatch and grab" type operation. Feather-
gine at that critical point during take-off. This con-
ing the wrong engine will most certainly be
trol is presented to the pilot as an operating limit and
trowned upon by all concerned.
is defined as a "Minimum Control Speed."
The Flight Manual for the C-130 aircraft defines
minimum control speed for a given set of conditions
as the minimum speed at which limited control of the
airplane in flight can be maintained by the pilot if
an outboard engine abruptly fails. MIL-F-8785, "Mili-
tary Specifications Flying Qualities of Piloted Air-
planes" is even more specific regarding directional
control with asymmetric power.
It specifies "On all multi-engine airplanes in the
take-off configuration, with the most critical outboard
engine inoperative (with rpm and pitch simulating
failure in flight with no corrective action unless auto-
matically provided), it shall be possible, at the light-
est normal take-off loading and with take-off power on
the remaining engine or engines, to establish and
maintain straight flight with a bank angle not greater
than five degrees, at all speeds above 1.2% of stall
speed on the take-off configuration.
Automatic devices which normally operate in the
event of power failure may be used. With trim set-
tings normally employed in asymmetric power take-
off, the rudder pedal force required to achieve and
maintain straight flight with asymmetrical power, as
defined above, shall not exceed 180 pounds.
While the requirements of the Mil. Spec. are quite
definite, the translation to the handbook definition
and further to the handbook performance charts re-
quired some additional clarification. The clause which
allows use of automatic devices for corrective action
Note that the specification stipulates take-off power
on the remaining engine or engines. This power is the
power that would be produced by a normal engine at
sea level standard day. The T-56 turbo-prop engine
on the C-130 is capable of producing considerably
more than this standard power if the outside air tem-
perature is below standard.
In fact, the structural limit of the engine and gear
box is not reached until a power nearly 1/3 greater
than standard day power has been developed. The
handbook limit established for the outboard engines
must be observed if the minimum control speed values
in the handbook are expected to be valid.
The five-degree bank angle allowed by the spec to
control the asymmetric thrust resulting from loss of
the critical engine is extremely significant. In the
demonstration of minimum control speed characteris-
tics the fivedegree bank with the operating engines
on the low side was used to arrive at the handbook
limits. With the wings level or with any degree of
bank less than this allowable five degrees the minimum
control speed will be increased significantly.
Flight test records of one four engine transport (not
the C-130) show that for identical conditions (one
outboard engine feathered and the other three at
take-off power) directional control could be main-
tained down to an airspeed of 110 knots with a five
degree favorable bank while 125 knots was required
with the wings level.
in the event of power failure is of particular sig-
The effect of unfavorable bank angle (inoperative
engine on the low wing) is very pronounced. As the
The use of automatic feathering systems is employed unfavorable bank angle increases the higher must
in some aircraft to eliminate the delay which is con- be the speed to control a given amount of asymmet-
sidered necessary for pilot recognition of engine failure rical thrust. Since the stall speed will also increase
and for manual feathering of the sick engine. The with the bank angle, acceleration may not be rapid
C-130 affords protection through the engine Negative enough to keep you out of trouble.
Lockheed Service News No. 45
The variables that will determine the minimum con-
trol speed for the C-130 for any particular configura-
tion are limited to pressure altitude and outside air
C temperature. The weight of the airplane has no sig-
nificance except that at lighi gross weights the air-
plane will lift off and fly at a speed appreciably below
minimum control speed.
This feature is employed in a maximum effort take-off,
a military emergency procedure with minimum con-
trol speed disregarded. At most weights the aircratt
acceleration is so rapid after lift-off that the time of
exposure to the loss of an engine below Minimum
Control Speed is extremely short.
A greater hazard may be encountered i n the event a
go-around is initiated with an outboard engine
feathered after the aircraft has touched down or is
below 1.2% of stall speed. The touchdown speed in
many cases will be less than minimum control speed
and this difference will be greatest for light gross
weights at low-altitude airfields at low temperatures.
Even with the additional drag reduction achieved by
complete feathering of the inoperative engine, rapid
application of asymmetrical power can result in loss
of control. The natural yawing action and accom-
panying roll is accentuated by the lift created on
the wing by the operating propellers. The roll may
progress as directional control is lost and an entirely
unhealthy situation rapidly develops.
One aspect of asymmetrical thrust that has caused
much rending of tin and completion of Form 14's is
encountered in reverse power application. The C 130
can and has been demonstrated with the use of full
reverse thrust on three engines on landing and one
outboard engine inoperative. As long as the center
of gravity is' well forward, the runway surface dry
and providing good friction, and the nose wheel
steering is operative, a very satisfactory stop can be
However, as with most large aircraft, let anything
upset this combination such as a slick spot in the
runway to start the nose wheel sliding and you may
find yourself heading for the boondocks with surpris-
ing rapidity. Thi s may well set the stage for the deci-
sion to go around and the accident rate is on the
way up.
All of the foregoing elaboration on this applicable
specification, requirements, and characteristics of
asymmetrical thrust effects will provide little consola-
tion for the unhappy individual who finds himself
headed for some immovable object with everything
cranked in for a turn in the other direction.
Other than the advice to heed all handbook precau-
tions and thereby avoid getting into this situation
there is one more corrective measure that can be
used. Reduce the power that is creating the asymmetric
condition. Thi s will take a great deal of intestinal
fortitude if the machine is struggling through the
air barely above stall speed. A decision must be made
that the airplane cannot be controlled with the power
applied and corrective action taken quickly.
Studies of previous accidents of this type show that
as little as 20 seconds may elapse from the time of
initial engine failure until the airplane will swervc,
one wing down, into structures, trees or high terrain
adjacent to the runway or fall off in a stall in an
almost vertical bank.
The entire problem, like so many others that keep
the accident rate from declining to the desired level
of 0, is that the aircraft is incapable of reason. As
power and speed of aircraft are increased, the de-
mands on the pilot also increase. You have to think
ahead of the airplane.
Keep in mind that the same burst of power that can
make a good approach out of a bad one, that can
lift you out of a stall on prop blast alone, and that
is so effective i n stopping your machine on an icy
runway can be your worst enemy.
The maximum effort take-off should be reserved for
the military emergency for which it was intended.
When it is used, a decision should be made ahead of
time as to the best procedure to be followed if asym-
metric thrust becomes a problenl during the take-off.
Every landing with an outboard engine inoperative
should be planned and executed so that only symmet-
ric reverse power is needed and it is mandatory that
all crew members be fully briefed on both the planned
landing procedure and what will be done if a go-
around becomes necessary.
Finally, always remember that when asymmetric
thrust has exceeded the control capability of the air-
plane, either on the ground or in flight, the only way
to correct the situation is to reduce the power on the
operating engines as necessary to bring the aircraft
under control.
Summer Quarter 1964
W. R. "Ray" Mi tchel l
N. E. "Snake" Moore
PH. SH7-4111
Ext. 2565
R. F. "Bob" Marcello
PH. 753-7205
J. E. "JIM" ALLGOOD PH. 1194
L. W. "Larry" Chunn Ext . 6466
T. D. "Tom" Kel l y H. J. "Jim" Schneider
R. C. "Bob" Lewis C. .. E. . "Charlie" .. . .. Shuler
P.-K."ParkeUMason W.J."~IIII"WOII~
W. H. "BILL" JONES PH . 434-41 4-292
W. E. "BILL" HASTINGS PH. 722-791 1
C. E. "Clint" Merri tt
Ext. 29161
- -
B. I. "BEN" HALL Ill* PH. RA 4-2100
A. J. "Tony" Lazzaro Ext. 4545
A. K. "Ken" Millsaps
At the Second International Forum for Air
Cargo, in Montreal, Canada, the United States
Air Force recently demonstrated the new 4633;
Materials Handling System. Designed to permit
on- and off-loading of unitized cargo in the time
required to service the airplane, the system is
highly mechanized both in the areas of cargo
handling and accounting. Airborne equipment,
adaptable to a wide variety of cargo aircraft, is
completely compatible with highly mechanized
or automated terminal and ground handling
In the photo on the opposite page and on this
issue's cover, an 8 x 8 x 40 foot railway-truck
freight container was loaded onto the C-130 at
the Lockheed-Georgia plant in Marietta, using
standard 463L rollers and rails. Other cargo
loaded to demonstrate the system induded a
standard 8 x 10 x 8 van and prepackaged cargo
Lockheed Service News No. 45