Project Description


VH-71 Program Facility
Owego, New York

L.R. Kimball was hired by Lockheed Martin Corporation to provide the design of the new VH-71 Program Facility in Owego, New York. Services provided by L.R. Kimball included program review, architectural, structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire protection design. The building houses administrative offices, electronics laboratory space, and high-bay integration space and support areas. The administrative wing consists of a two-story, 61,000 square foot unit that contains offices and laboratory space for the production team. This portion of the building also houses employee and visitors’ entrances, security operations, an auditorium, and locker and shower facilities. The high-bay production space contains 117,000 square feet of flight ready bays for incoming and outgoing testing and flight operations.  Finish preparation, painting, and weather testing is conducted within two specially designed chambers with special exhaust and environmental requirements. The facility also houses an anechoic chamber for aircraft communications testing. This portion of the building also provides operational support spaces on the second floor.

L.R. Kimball’s scope of work on this project also included geotechnical services consisting of preparing a subsurface exploration plan, drilling oversight, laboratory testing, and report preparation. Borings were advanced through soft, saturated silts and glacial till to bedrock at depths of up to 100 feet. The subsurface conditions required an in-depth seismic analysis, including cross-hole shear testing and evaluation of liquefaction potential. L.R. Kimball conducted a shear wave velocity survey at the proposed site of the VH-7 1 Program Facility. Shear wave data was collected using the cross-hole method

in general accordance with ASTM D4 428. The survey was completed using three test wells, constructed in a generally Northwest to Southeast line. L.R. Kimball collected the shear wave velocity data with a Geometrics, LTD Smartseis, 12 channel seismograph, and two triaxial geophones. A downhole shear wave source was used to create the shear waves at five-foot increments coming up the holes. Verticality of the test borings was measured using a borehole deviation probe. Results of the shear wave cross-hole survey were used to evaluate the seismic classification of the soil for foundation design and installation.

In 2009, the VH-71 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program contract was terminated following the Department of Defense’s (DoD) decision to cancel the existing presidential helicopter replacement program. The VH-7 1 was intended to replace both the VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft currently used to conduct presidential support missions.

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