A Mean Engine For A Mean Plane
Aero-News has learned
that sailors working in USS Enterprise's (CVN 65) jet shop this
month got their first chance to work on the F-414-GE-400 series
engine, the engine for the Navy’s newest aircraft -- the
F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 switched over to the Super
Hornet prior to commencing its deployment May 2 aboard Big E. When
the squadron began having trouble with an engine in one of its
aircraft while the ship was conducting operations in the Persian
Gulf, they turned to the sailors in the jet shop for help.
Aviation Machinist's Mate (AD) 2nd Class (AW) Christopher
Daupert, maintenance supervisor in the jet shop, is the only sailor
in the shop inspector-qualified for this engine, and he was sent to
Enterprise before deployment because of his extensive
"I initially started the F-414 work center at Oceana," said
Daupert. "I’ve been working on this engine since it came to
the East Coast. I am dual-qualified for the 404 series and the 414
series engines (right)."
leadership, the ADs brought in the engine to begin
"Whenever an engine comes down, there’s a series of tests
we run on it," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Muhammad
Habeebut-Lah from the jet shop. "We stick a bore scope, or little
camera, inside the engine to see what’s wrong. On this engine
we discovered a crack in the combustor, so we have to order a new
Once they get the new part and put the engine back together,
they make sure all the settings, such as fuel flow, engine
temperature and oil consumption are giving the proper readings.
If they are, then the engine is ready for issue.
"We take them out to the test cell to ensure the engine is safe
to go back into the aircraft," said Daupert.
In a couple of days, if everything goes according to plan, the
aircraft will be back in the fight to help maintain prompt and
sustained combat operations from the sea.
"My favorite part of this is watching the birds take off after
we fix them," said Habeebut-Lah.
(Aero-News salutes Journalist 3rd Class Jill Lynn Broecher,
USS Enterprise Public Affairs)