Back in April, the US Navy (USN) grounded all of its T-45 training flights due to issues with the cockpit oxygen system. I personally heard about this before the grounding secondhand from someone in the program, who was familiar with an instructor who did not remember landing during a training flight.

A number of questions arise, but in order to keep with the single question style that seems to be preferred on this board, I will limit myself to one:

Why is it not practical for USN T-45 trainers to be fitted with oxygen systems used in other trainers?

The T-6 Texan II, used in the USN Primary Pilot training phase uses an onboard oxygen-generating system (OBOGS). I would assume that the US Air Force jet trainer uses one as well. It surprises me that with a problem that has spanned several years and with a program that has been grounded for three months (and counting) and no solution on the horizon, such alternatives are not being considered.

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    $\begingroup$ My guess (with over 2k hours in mil jets) is cost. Despite being what is easily argued "safety of flight", this is not merely "buy one O2 system for each jet"; on top of the safe-for-flight testing, it would likely require structural changes due to where pipes/hoses/cables are placed. The T-45 specifically has very little room for any type of growth. $\endgroup$
    – r2evans
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ (For the record, I'm not saying that's a good reason.) $\endgroup$
    – r2evans
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Fitting an entirely different oxygen system is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. They need to find out what's wrong with the existing system and roll out a fix. It could be something as simple as a seal, it just takes time to resolve these kinds of issues. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:13
  • $\begingroup$ Remember as well that the Goshawk is a modified Bae Hawk, a British design from the 1980s rather than an American design. I'd not be surprised if the entire electrical as well as mechanical hookup is different from that used by US manufacturers $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife, I guess I'll really know I've made it when you don't find a valid reason to edit one of my posts ;-) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 15:12


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