MERC has worked alongside the United States Air Force (USAF) Special Operations Forces (SOF) Engineering to ensure the continued safety of USAF personnel and the aircraft during sustained operation of major weapon systems present on the AC-130W gunship. Through advanced structural analyses and testing of these systems, MERC and the USAF have established a trusted methodology for evaluating and maintaining these complex systems that have helped pave the way for the next generation of gunships.
MERC analyzed one of the major weapons systems concerning the effects on the fuselage attaching structure. This transient solution provided the USAF with durability and damage tolerance analysis (DaDTA) to provide a safe inspection interval and methodology for maintaining the fleet.
MERC also analyzed the effects on the major control surfaces on the wing. This transient analysis modeled the gun blast pressure and its effects on fatigue life of controls at different firing positions.