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In support of an overall program aimed at minimizing disassembly and reducing inspection time during aircraft maintenance, a series of projects has been carried out to determine the feasibility of applying neutron radiographic techniques to the nondestructive (NDT) inspection of aircraft and aircraft components. These investigations have clearly demonstrated the superiority of neutron radiography over all other NDT techniques in its ability to detect surface and subsurface corrosion in aircraft structure. This capability is particularly significant where the corrosion is hidden behind thick metallic structural members. The neutron radiographic technique has been applied successfully to detect corrosion in the wing tank of E-2C, C-130, and DC-9 aircraft; rear stabilators of F-4 and F-111 aircraft; aft spar, starboard and port wing, and rudder of the F-8; fuselage skin of the 727; rotary blades of AH-1 and SH-3 helicopters; rotary tail flaps of the UH-2 helicopter; and nose landing gear of A-7 aircraft.
neutron radiography, nondestructive tests, corrosion, adhesive bonding, californium
Manager, IRT Corporation, San Diego, Calif.