AFRL Creates Anti Water-Pooling Tool for F-16 Canopies

Jeff Brody

Air Force Research Laboratory has created a wax-like product designed to prevent water from blocking an aircraft's canopy. The HydroSkip product would stop rain from pooling over an F-16 aircraft's canopy during cases of bad weather, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday.

Heavy rain may restrict a pilot's visibility needed for safe navigation, and HydroSkip aims to address this issue. Donald Willmoth, a mechanical engineer with the F-16 System Program Office, said the product turns white and wipes clean 10 minutes after application. Maintainers would apply the product to aircraft on a monthly basis.

The F-16 SPO expanded HydroSkip's testing across all F-16 users across the Air Force due to demand. Three Air Force Bases have also agreed to test HydroSkip to address pooling issues that occur in Europe and the far east.

 “The plan is to fly 50 flight hours on one squadron and 60 days on the other with periodic testing to (verify) material durability,” Willmoth said.

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