FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Team Fairchild’s annual Inland Northwest Spark Tank Competition hosted by the brand new Innovation Cell was held on February 24, 2022.
The competition is designed to ignite and empower Airmen to foster new ideas that will create a more efficient, lethal, and combat-ready force and to fund those innovative ideas, bringing them to life.
“What we want is a little bit of competition,” said Tech Sgt. Shona Clay, 92nd Air Refueling Wing non-commissioned officer in charge of innovation. “We want to make sure that the projects that are presented are truly going to have an impact on the base.”
Out of nearly 20 submissions, the Innovation Cell selected six ideas as finalists to present in the competition.
The five judges, two of which are innovation experts in the civilian sector, awarded all of the projects presented with either innovation or wing funds. The overall winner was Tech Sgt. Christian Davey, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft aerospace propulsions systems craftsman, for his engine preservation trailer idea.
“[It’s] a mobile trailer that holds a 55-gallon drum of 1010 preservation oil,” said Davey. “The trailer has a pump on it that is used to pump the preservation oil to replace the fuel inside of an aircraft engine.”
Currently, once aircraft are grounded past 30 days, they then require the engines to be run every 14 days. The engine preservation trailer changes that process.
“By preserving engines with the trailer, we only have to do an engine run every 365 days,” said Davey. “This saves 25 engine runs per year and 2,300 man hours, [which] prevents potential engine replacement costs.”
All Airmen are encouraged by the Innovation Cell to bring ideas forward beyond Inland Northwest Spark Tank Competition, especially new Airmen, because of their unique perspectives to the mission.
“I’ve been here a long time, I’ve seen a lot of things change here, and I’ve seen a lot of things that need to improve,” Davey said. “This is a way forward for how an individual, who may not otherwise be heard, can get funding to push their idea forward and make a better process for the future.”
The 92nd ARW is about accelerating and innovating. The Innovation Cell, in conjunction with the annual Inland Northwest Spark Tank Competition, fosters ideas to turn out improvement for the Air Force we need.
To submit an idea to the innovation cell email them at 92ARW.Innovation.Room@us.af.mil