The wash rack at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., gives a returning weather reconnaissance WC-130 a cursory wash upon returning from a flight over the (very salty) Gulf of Mexico.
The “bird bath” takes a full five minutes to taxi through and “uses 10,000 gallons of water per rinse,” writes Roger A. Mola of the Air and Space Smithsonian.
The bath really only amounts to what we ground folks would call a “PT shower,” just a (10,000 gallon) spritzing to get the surface gunk off the bird to prevent corrosion.
The real bath, inside and out, is detailed in a 360-page Air Force technical order “that specifies every scour pad, solvent, and means of disposal involved in washing aircraft, categorized by Air Force base.”
And that’s only part of the maintenance required on America’s flock of military birds, check out a longer report by Randy Roughton of Airmen Magazine here.
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