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Next Warrior Flyby
November 17th, 2017 at 1:34PM


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Next Ellsworth Fire Department Live Fire Training

December 8th, 2017





           


 
            
 
 
  
 

Preserve, display, educate: repairing the Titan I for SDASM

Dustin Blosmo, the chief engineer with VRC Metal Systems, repairs the side of a Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I with a mobile Cold Spray machine in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. With this technology, maintainers are able to repair thinner metals that traditional welding would not be able to do, allowing them to restore previously unrepairable objects. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

Dustin Blosmo, the chief engineer with VRC Metal Systems, repairs the side of a Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I with a mobile Cold Spray machine in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. With this technology, maintainers are able to repair thinner metals that traditional welding would not be able to do, allowing them to restore previously unrepairable objects. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

A disassembled Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I sits in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. The Titan, residing in storage for the past 30 years, is undergoing repairs before it is put on display at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

A disassembled Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I sits in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. The Titan, residing in storage for the past 30 years, is undergoing repairs before it is put on display at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

Dustin Blosmo, the chief engineer with VRC Metal Systems, repairs the side of a Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I with a mobile Cold Spray machine in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. Cold Spray is a technology that accelerates small particles of the substrate [whatever the material is made out of] to achieve a mechanical bond upon impact restoring the part back to the original specifications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

Dustin Blosmo, the chief engineer with VRC Metal Systems, repairs the side of a Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I with a mobile Cold Spray machine in Dock 43 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 22, 2017. Cold Spray is a technology that accelerates small particles of the substrate [whatever the material is made out of] to achieve a mechanical bond upon impact restoring the part back to the original specifications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --

The Martin Marietta HGM-25A Titan I missile residing in Dock 43 at Ellsworth underwent repairs June 22 in preparation for future display at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.

Engineers from VRC Metal Systems, an Ellsworth contractor, completed much needed repairs of cracks within the hull of the Titan I with a new mobile Cold Spray machine.

“This gave us an opportunity to demonstrate how this new technology can repair things that were previously unrepairable,” said Rob Hrabe, president of VRC Metal Systems. “The missile had many cracks in it that couldn’t be repaired with any other technology other than Cold Spray, which we specialize in.”

The missile’s repairs had been put on hold for so long due to the thinness of its hull. The hull itself had proven to be too difficult for welding or other traditional methods. With Cold Spray technology, the engineers are now able to repair thinner metals.

“What’s different about our particular version of the Cold Spray system is its mobility,” Hrabe continued. “It allows us to go to the part instead of having to bring the part to a specific location. This is a unique capability and allows the technology to be deployable.”

The Ellsworth Heritage Foundation will now be able to see its long standing project come to fruition now that the Titan I missile repairs are underway. With the cradles for the missile already built, the organization is one step closer to finally displaying the Titan, continuing their mission to preserve, display and educate the history of the Air Force.

“The Ellsworth Heritage Foundation has kept the Titan stored in the hangar for about 30 years just waiting for an opportunity to be put it on display,” said Kim Morey, president of the Ellsworth Heritage Foundation. “It is a part of this country’s military heritage, being one of the very early missiles the United States deployed in the Cold War, and should be properly displayed.”

The Titan I missile is a piece of history will finally get its chance to proudly stand amongst the relics of the nation’s past.

“I would like to express the Ellsworth Heritage Foundation’s deepest gratitude to VRC Metal Systems for assisting us in this project,” Morey said. “We appreciate it very much because it’s a repair we could have never have been able to do or afford on our own.”