Fuel Nozzles

One of the things that kicked our rear ends were the generators.  While they had the same gas turbine engine as the previous Cruisers and Destroyers, they were otherwise a complete redesign.  The design was problematic (separate story), but we also had support challenges.

We never could get the correct maintenance documentation.  NAVSSES kept sending the prior Cruiser planned maintenance requirements.  We would put in a feedback form, a team would come out to do a survey, the GSs would get it marked up.  NAVSSES would ‘guarantee’ the correct maintenance would be in the next update.  We would use the marked-up maintenance cards until the next update.  Sure enough, the next update would again provide Cruiser PMS.

Finally, at an Operational Test preparation meeting in Roosie Roads, I have the vague memory of RADM Huchting taking off his shoe and beating on the table like Kruschchev over the maintenance documentation problems.

I don’t recall if it was fixed right after that, but I know MP division helped write the correct maintenance several times before NAVSSES finally issued it correctly. 

The Supply System took a different approach to the generators.  Instead of using the historical Cruiser and Destroyer demand data – since the generators were somewhat similar, NAVSUP insisted they were completely new, and no prior data applied.

The generator gas turbine has six fuel nozzles.  They were upgraded from the prior design, but still had to be changed every (50-100?) starts – gas turbines really like clean fuel nozzles.

We only learned this later, but nozzle manufacturer decided to move their factory with a shut down for up to one year.  They asked all customers how many fuel nozzles they needed before they shut down.  Allison and the ship builders ordered their spare sets.  NAVSUP ordered ONE fuel nozzle.  (Not one set, not one case, not one hundred, but ONE, unit of issue, each.)

As my (somewhat foggy) memory recalls, we were moored in Ft Lauderdale when things got critical.  The nozzles were getting clogged enough to prevent reliable starts.  Several GSs teamed up with some of the micro miniature repair ETs to rebuild the nozzles.  The rebuild appeared to be a success and restored reliable generator starts.

While the GSs and ETs were doing the hard work, I was working the phone (with some SK help as always) trying to figure out what miracle was required to obtain fuel nozzles. 

At some point, I got a call from DC asking what the dickens we were doing and directing us to immediately shut down any generator with ships force repaired fuel nozzles.  Lets see, tied to the pier in Ft Lauderdale, no shore power available, no known replacement fuel nozzles in the free world, how does this improve the situation?  We did not shut down the generators.

Within a day, a BIW employee (y’all know who) shows up in the log room, and asks me to come to the parking lot.  He opens the trunk of his rental car and walks away.  Sitting in the trunk were two glorious new sets of fuel nozzles.  Recognizing a case of cumshaw when I saw it, I knew my part, and somehow the fuel nozzles vanished from the trunk and were quickly installed.

Before the nozzle production line reopened – every in production and spare generator engine (NAVSUP had ordered three complete engines to go with the one fuel nozzle) got stripped for fuel nozzles.  Eventually production got restarted, all the borrowed fuel nozzles were replaced in the engines.  Reportedly, the Navy paid BIW for the fuel nozzles that saved us down in Ft. Lauderdale.

Add from John Ingram:

I remember tasking Jim Bridge at SOSB to produce “hot and cold running” GTG fuel nozzles, and him making many friends and enemies while scrounging multiple sets, which I suppose ended up in the trunk of the car you interacted with!