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Skyhawks Make Way For RNZAF C-130 Hercules

Skyhawks Make Way For RNZAF C-130 Hercules

SAFE Air Ltd in Blenheim will start a significant modification programme to their leased Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Woodbourne hangar after the RNZAF’s retired A-4 Skyhawk fleet was placed in outdoor storage today.

The Safe Air hangar is required to house the RNZAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft while they undergo a Life Extension Project to extend their operational capability until 2017.

Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott said the preparation of the hangar for the Hercules Life Extension Project is a real milestone. The project will significantly improve the availability and reliability of the RNZAF Hercules fleet and ensure it continues to comply with evolving air traffic control regulations.

“The Skyhawks are in as good a condition as any fleet worldwide and will be well looked after while outside. They will not suffer any degenerative effects because of the weatherproof latex coating.

"A number of alternative storage options were considered for the Skyhawks. Spraying the aircraft and storing them outside proved the most financially responsible while at the same time not compromising the aircraft sale,” Air Vice-Marshal Lintott said.

The 17 Skyhawk jets have been stored and maintained in the SAFE Air hangar awaiting sale approval by the United States State Department. They have been spray coated with SprayLat – a vinyl, non-toxic, water based environmental protection agent.

Spray-on latex is commonly used by Air Forces around the world for aircraft in outdoor storage because of its weatherproofing protective qualities.


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