All Military Aircraft Should Switch to More Expensive Filters to Improve Safety, Efficiency, Experts Say

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U.S. Army National Guard
U.S. Army National Guard

January 19, 2023 | Originally published by on January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. armed forces could increase troop safety, improve readiness, and save money in the long term by swapping out paper hydraulic filters in military planes and helicopters for metal ones, according to some experts who have studied the equipment.

For decades, military aircraft have used paper hydraulic filters made with glass fiber or cellulose media. The purpose of the filters is to remove contamination particles from hydraulic fluid, which is the life blood of all planes and helicopters that allows pilots to move flight controls such as flaps, elevators, and ailerons.

While the Pentagon generally has had no serious issues with the paper legacy filters, some experts say there is a safer and more efficient option — filters with stainless steel media that do a better job of cleaning the vital mechanical fluid.

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