With ongoing efforts to reduce current aircraft program assembly costs, McDonnell Aircraft and Missiles Systems will be introducing a practical approach to F-15 inlet duct fastening. Using proven, off-the-shelf, automatic fastening technologies, the F-15 Inlet Duct Automatic Fastening System coincides with F-15 program affordability initiatives. When fully implemented, the system will accommodate ten center fuselage duct sections (five left & five right). Given the unique part geometries associated with fighter aircraft inlet ducts, machine configuration and the part positioning requirements warranted special attention.
F-15 inlet ducts have been manually fastened for over 25 years, so basic build philosophies, planning, and engineering requirements needed to be changed.