The US Air Force will provide ready access to maintenance databases through tablets that teams can use with their aircraft.

“These new programs are important for the Air Force because the quicker we can get to information, whether it’s about our job specifically or about our personnel, the better,” said Senior Airman Aaron Hooks, an F-35A dedicated crew chief assigned to the 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Bolt Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU).

Mad Hatter is the name of the team run by Kessel Run that is aiming to improve efficiency for the maintenance crews, and in return, offer more flight time for pilots flying the aircraft.

“The software being tested by the maintenance teams has the potential to increase combat capability for the warfighter,” said Capt. Michael Bell, the former Maintenance Operations Flight commander assigned to the 57th Maintenance Group.

“Decreased maintenance down time means the aircraft is more available for flying operations. Lessons learned from these efforts can also help scope and scale future software acquisition projects.”

Maintenance teams have many technical orders that must be followed properly for an aircraft to able to fly but sometimes finding the specific order can be difficult for them under the existing system, say the US Air Force.

“Monocle is the specific app that was developed by Mad Hatter to address issues with search results for specific technical data that was needed to complete maintenance tasks,” said Bell.

“Monocle has addressed this problem by built-in search logic that returns fewer and more accurate results for the maintenance teams. This helps the maintenance teams get to work faster and in-turn gets the aircraft back in the air.”

Bell said with the refined search capabilities of the new programme, it has the potential to produce up to a 30% decrease in maintenance time for teams.

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Hmm, I used to do my own car maintenance when I was a lad (a loonnnnggggg time ago πŸ™‚ ) but who can do their own car maintenance these days. Are we getting to a similar limit with the complexity of modern aircraft if even the professionals are struggling with the amount of tech data / manuals they have to deal with? I wonder if we are getting to the limits of what humans can actually get their heads around. Fixing something is diffierent to designing it, I’ve done both and fixing is can be tougher espeicially if there is… Read more Β»


Cars these days have OBD II systems where you plug a device into the car and it generates a fault code. You use that code to diagnose what the problem is. I’m pretty sure most modern combat machines have something similar. Or I might be gravely mistaken…


The Typhoon has a fully interactive maintenance system. It will generate work sheets for the maintainers. It can prevent the aircraft from flying if the fault codes are sorted. So its a bit more advanced than your car’s OBD2 codes. The F35 uses a similar system but clearly newer than Typhoon’s. The Typhoon gets constant software upgrades. A lot of these are to remove nuisance codes, but also to deliver new processes.


This is a a maintenance miracle in itself. Impressive though. note the number – 52