A SHEFFIELD firm has been called in to make oxygen cylinders for a hi-tech US stealth fighter.
Meadowhall-based Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC) is supplying high-pressure cylinders which form a vital part of the 1,500 mile an hour F-22 Raptor’s new automatic backup oxygen supply system.
America’s fleet of Raptor stealth fighters was grounded for four months last year after one pilot died and others experienced problems with existing oxygen systems.
It has not been confirmed that the back-up oxygen supply is part of the solution to those problems, however, systems are being fitted to all the Raptors which are in service.
CSC supplied the first batch of cylinders to Seattle in record time – receiving the order on a Monday and delivering them in time for test flights the following Friday.
Forty Raptors have had the new system installed and it will take until mid 2014 to fit the backup oxygen system, developed by Honeywell Aerospace, to all the ‘planes.
CSC has a long history of supplying pilots’ oxygen systems for military aircraft, ranging from Spitfires and Lancasters, to Vulcans, Hawks and, more recently, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Before it got the Raptor contract, CSC’s Meadowhall headquarters and its manufacturing processes, material sources, traceability and reporting systems were subject to a detailed inspection by US Air Force representatives.
CSC managing director, Mick Pinder, said: “This is a highly prestigious order and CSC is honoured to be selected.
“CSC prides itself on manufacturing to the highest standards and we look forward to our continued work with Honeywell Aerospace and the United States Air Force.”