CAMI’s 747 Gets a Facelift
Vol.6 Issue 7

It’s been a while since most of us have traveled to the Aeronautical Center (MMAC) and here’s something that we’ve missed out on. Most of you are familiar with the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute’s (CAMI) aircraft that’s located just off of S. Duke Street. It’s officially known as the Aircraft Environment Research Facility, but it’s usually referred to it as the "747". It’s a B-747 aircraft that has been adapted for research purposes by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). The plane has withstood the Oklahoma weather for many years and was in need of refurbishment on both its interior and exterior surfaces. CAMI created an agreement with the Logistics Center’s Product Services Group to perform the refurbishment since they have all the necessary capabilities to perform the work.

The first step was to make improvements to the exterior of the aircraft. Most of these improvements focused on cleaning the painted surfaces to remove foreign matter (dirt, dust, mold, etc.) while also preventing damage to painted surfaces. It was in August that this significant improvement was completed. Cleaning sounds easy right? Well, under normal circumstances that answer is yes, but since the aircraft is a permanent fixture and cannot be transported, moving it to a facility to conduct the work was not feasible. Also, after sitting in the sun with no protective treatment for many years, it was hard to determine how difficult it would be to remove the surface debris. In addition, there were potential environmental and occupational health concerns related to the possibility of paint chipping and a regulatory requirement to ensure that the cleaning solution didn’t enter the MMAC’s storm water drains. Both CAMI and the Logistics Center reached out to the Center’s environmental and safety organization (AMP-100) to ensure that all employee safety and environmental requirements were met while conducting these activities.

It was determined that environmental requirements would be the biggest hurdle in properly executing the project. In order to do this, the environmental group coordinated with the Oklahoma City Storm Water Quality Management office, who monitored the MMAC’s storm water outfalls twice each day while the cleaning took place. The City’s Storm Water office regulates the MMAC’s storm drains and required the Logistics Center to obtain a permit to conduct the cleaning since it was close to the MMAC storm drains. In order to receive permit approval, the Logistics Center worked with AMP-100 to implement best management practices that were adhered to during the cleaning. This included the use of low pressure water to minimize paint removal; only using water to do the pressure washing because cleaning products were not allowed in the storm drain; spraying and wiping cleanser off by hand in difficult-to-clean areas; and installing filtration around the storm drains as an extra precaution to ensure that no chemicals entered the storm drain. After the cleaning portion was completed, all of the waste was collected and properly disposed of by the environmental team. Thanks to this collaboration the process was successfully completed with no issues and with no environmental compliance issues despite the hurdles that were encountered.

The Logistics Center team is also working on the installation of panels and screens to prevent bird, rodent and water intrusion, while also replacing lettering and logos with an adhesive wrap that covers the existing lettering. Later phases of the refurbishment will focus on cleaning and repair to the inside of the aircraft. This includes, but isn’t limited to the repair of interior panels, replacement of vinyl coverings, staircase repair, reattaching loose carpeting, and cleaning of all surfaces.

A look at the 747 as power washing begins
The 747 after power washing
Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal