DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Over the years KTAB/KRBC has reported on the B-1 bombers as they’ve flown off to missions and the maintenance work done on the ground.
This, however, is a first. We got a front-row seat to the washing of a B-1 and as you can imagine, it’s a lot different than running a car through a car wash.
“My first wash experience was like, ‘What did I get myself into?'” said B-1 Crew Chief Airman Jarrett Scott.
When it comes to washing, these airmen aren’t just dealing with a four-door on the pavement, but a bomber that cuts through the sky.
“The process, depending on how dirty the jet is, can take anywhere from four hours to 12 hours,” said B-1 Crew Chief Sr. Airman Jae Sajonas.
“There’s no way one or two men can complete this by themselves,” said Airman Scott.
With a hose in one hand and a sponge in the other, these airmen strap on their yellow suits and split up, wing by wing.
“We go two on each landing gear and we get a crew on each wing, just two people, one kind of wash and one kind of just scrub or they swap it, vice versa,” said Airman Scott.
While the pressure of these hoses can seemingly get off any dirt, it’s not just about keeping the aircraft clean.
“You’re washing it, but you’re also inspecting it at the same time,” said Airman Scott.
“Corrosion can cause millions of dollars of damage to the aircraft,” said Sr. Airman Sajonas.
If it’s going to take these airmen anywhere from four to 12 hours to complete, the crew says you might as well have some fun with it.
“When certain people are assigned to the team and it’s their jet in the hanger, you can see that they’re the ones that are working really hard to make sure their jet looks pretty,” said Sr. Airman Sajonas.
“I got to make it look better than everyone’s, even though they all look the same, but I want mine to stand out every time,” said Airman Scott.
Crews say they wash each aircraft about once every six months.
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