Kennon Announces Innovative Covers Designed to Improve Maintenance, Protect Aircraft & Pilots
“The best covers are the ones you have with you and the ones you use.” said Kennon CEO Joe Wright.
Today’s modern fighter jets — the F-22 and F-35 — are high precision, state-of-the-art flying computers susceptible to Foreign Object Debris (FOD). FOD can come from nature — birds, rodents, blowing dust, rain, and snow. It can also come from human error. Such was the case in May 2020, when an F-22 crashed near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Investigators determined the event resulted from human error — a piece of tape was left on the aircraft after servicing. The piece of tape impacted a flight control sensor and caused the pilot to eject (safely). However, the $200M+ F-22 jet was lost.
Kennon’s covers protect aircraft, ease maintenance, and reduce deadly accidents by providing coverage that prevents FOD intrusion. They also reduce the need for tape.
Unlike standard covers, Kennon’s PMAC line of products can be folded and packed into a small compartment on the aircraft. This portability enhances mission flexibility and reduces the logistical footprint of moving traditional bulky covers and plugs from location to location. Because the covers stay with the aircraft, regardless of where it lands, crews can cover up the various intakes, exhausts, and ports. The jet will never be apart from its protective covers. Kennon can also print on the covers, including a squadron’s graphics, tastefully displayed when the jets are parked.
The PMAC covers use various advanced composite materials and seals to withstand repeated washings and environmental exposure, including winds up to 70 mph. Kennon’s covers protect the fighter jet canopies during maintenance without touching sensitive surfaces.
Kennon designed the F-22 Alpha Cover for line-to-line fitment. Made from UV-resistant polyurethane, the cover seals the probe from the elements without damaging fifth-generation LO (low observable) coatings. The fit is secure, even during extreme weather.
Kennon’s PMAC line was born from a prototype first designed by Retired Air Force Technical Sergeant Daniel Caban, who witnessed the logistical challenges of transporting the complete set of plugs and covers that must go with each aircraft. Caban’s prototype, featured in the Air Force’s Spark Tank competition, prompted AFWERX, the Air Force’s technology accelerator group, to award Kennon several contracts.
The initial award was to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the PMAC product line. Kennon has received additional contracts from the US Air Force that address other PMAC products, including multi-purpose wash covers and an advanced canopy protection system for the F-35 and F-22 are now in development.
“The best covers are the ones you have with you and the ones you use. Our PMAC covers are easier to see and remove; plus, they stow on board the aircraft,” said Kennon CEO Joe Wright.
“These technologies can be applied or scaled to other aircraft platforms, both fixed wing and rotorcraft. American allies worldwide also fly these aircraft, so we know there is a large market for this technology,” Wright said.