Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System…Posted: 2013/16/01
Soar High With Shadow PM
The Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system (TUAS) can’t soar high on its mission unless PM soars high with it.
Preflight inspections. Always perform every PMCS inspection and check outlined in your TM before flight. Even when PMCS becomes old hat, never trust your memory. Always depend on the TM so you don’t miss anything.
Do all of your pre-flight inspections and before engine start checks like it says in TM 1-1550-689-CL, Operator’s Manual and Crewmember’s Checklist.
Solar shields. In searing heat, never leave the Shadow’s wings uncovered. The sun’s heat can warp the carbon fiber wings. Protecting the wings with solar shields also minimizes fuel loss through the fuel tip relief valve.
Fuel loss is caused by fuel expansion as it gets hot. The lost fuel is supposed to get caught in the overflow container on the wing tip relief valve. But if the valve fails, the fuel pouches rupture inside the wings. The fuel system is dependant on ZERO air ingestion at the engine, and a vacuum leak will cause air ingestion 99.99% of the time.
Launching the Shadow. Before launching the Shadow from the launcher, make it a habit to remove the tail hook pin before starting up the engine. Removing the pin lowers the tail hook so the Shadow can stop on the runway when landing. Forget the pin and the tail hook won’t catch the primary pendant during landing. The Shadow will overrun the runway and hit the net to stop.
Powering up the Shadow. Before starting up the Shadow, remember to remove the payload cover. When power is turned on, the infrared/optical sensor payload moves and rotates. If the cover is still attached, it will hit and damage the underside of the fuselage.
Check the oil. The Shadow uses a lot of oil during flight. You must add oil before it flies again. Without enough oil, the Shadow may not make it back.
Maintenance upkeep. No matter what you do to the Shadow, all maintenance must be recorded in the logbook so other maintenance personnel will know what has been done in the past. For example, you must record what components were replaced and what failures occurred during flight. Also, if inaccurate flight hours are recorded, scheduled maintenance won’t take place on time.
To keep your Shadow in the air and not grounded, check out the good word in TM 1-1550-689-10-1 and 10-2, Operator’s Manual For Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) (NSN 1550-01-534-3238).