RE: Friday Hilarity

Subject: RE: Friday Hilarity
From: "Lippincott, Richard" <RLippincott -at- as-e -dot- com>
To: Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com>, John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:46:08 +0000

> When Lockheed submitted a bid to construct the C-5, it took a C-130 to carry ONE set of the paperwork required.

That story is true. It was actually a bit of a corporate bragging point at the time.

But to clarify that bit about the airplanes not being able to take off with all their manuals: not true. I was actually corrected on that point shortly after starting at Lockheed. âIf that was true, how would the airplane be able to fly missions?â was the reply from my new boss.

What it couldnât fly with is all of the âengineering- data (back when it was paper): the blueprints, the specification documents, the assembly planning and flow documents, the wire routing documents, the ECOs, etc.

Most (if not all) of the manuals are electronic now, but back in the days of paper the whole set of manuals for a C-5 (flight manuals, airframe maintenance manuals, and component maintenance manuals, plus all the applicable wiring diagram manuals and illustrated parts breakdowns) occupied a total of maybe 30 or 40 feet of shelf space. Thatâs miniscule for an airplane that can haul a quarter million pounds of cargo. But still, not all of these would fly with the airplane because many of them are devoted to procedures that wouldnât be used while operating missions. (For example, if an engine fails, so far as the crew is concerned they only need the manual that describes how to remove the bad engine and install a new one. The engine ârepair- manual, probably about three feet of shelf space, would be kept at the facility that actually does engine repair.)

The tech manuals (or as the Air Force calls them, âtechnical âorders-â) flown with a C-5 occupy two roughly six-foot long boxes on the airplaneâs upper deck. One box is just aft of the second bunkroom, the other just aft of the second walk-in avionics bay.

Hereâs the box aft of the bunkroom:

Hereâs the one aft of the avionics bay:

By comparison, the on-board C-130 tech order library is much smaller. I donât have a photo that I can quickly find, but if you go to an airshow and see a C-130 on display, look in the crew entrance door on the left side, just behind the cockpit. Youâll see what looks like a combination shelf/coatrack assembly just inside the door, thatâs where most of them are kept. Thereâs another small shelf in the cockpit where the flight engineer can reach it quickly.

And that is probably much more than most of you ever wanted to know about aircraft technical manuals.

Rick Lippincott, Technical Writer
American Science and Engineering, Inc. | Â
829 Middlesex Turnpike | Billerica, MA 01821 USA | Fax +1-978-262-8702
Office +1-978-262-8807 | rlippincott -at- as-e -dot- com

Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more:


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

Friday Hilarity: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Friday Hilarity: From: Robart, Kay
Re: Friday Hilarity: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Friday Hilarity: From: Lippincott, Richard
Re: Friday Hilarity: From: John G
Re: Friday Hilarity: From: Keith Hood

Previous by Author: RE: Friday Hilarity
Next by Author: Re: Anyone using Wolfram alpha, etc. for work?
Previous by Thread: Re: Friday Hilarity
Next by Thread: Re: Friday Hilarity

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads