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Let the Sun Shine, we have shades

The first A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jet towed under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011.  The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

The first A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jet towed under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011. The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

New sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011.  The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

New sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011. The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

A 175th maintenance personnel inspects the wing of an A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jet under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011.  The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

A 175th maintenance personnel inspects the wing of an A-10C Thunderbolt II attack jet under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011. The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

A contractor paints the final aircraft marshalling lines under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011.  The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

A contractor paints the final aircraft marshalling lines under the new sunshades installed at the Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Baltimore, Md., April 21, 2011. The sunshades are design to help keep maintenance costs down. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ed Bard/Released)

Baltimore -- The Maryland Air National Guard has new sunshades. No not the kind you wear but the kind you put over your A-10 attack aircraft. Eight new sunshades were installed at Warfield Air National Guard Base.

"The shades help us keep our aircraft maintenance personnel out of the elements while working on the aircraft", said Capt. Steve Harrigan, 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander. The shades will also protect the aircraft from rain, hail, snow and UV rays that can deteriorate gaskets, rubber seals, paint and other items costing more to maintain aircraft which will help keep maintenance costs down. Capt. Harrigan started the project over three years ago when he requested money for the eight sunshades.

"We call them airplane puppy tents", said Maj. John Hayes, 175 Wing Deputy Base Civil Engineer. Maj. Hayes touts that 1st Lt. DeJaun Saunders was the CE project manager and made sure the shades were in the proper place on the ramp and met the needs of the existing traffic flow of the airfield. Lt. Saunders managed land surveys, wind load, snow load and uplift structural test. He coordinated with all concerned parties including the Maryland Aviation Administration.

The project took approximately six weeks to erect the shades and paint the new aircraft marshalling lines.

The sunshade system is totally portable, connected via 18 bolts for each shade, 144 for the entire eight shade system. It can be packed up and moved to any other airport on a standard 40 foot flatbed trailer if needed.

Some of the safety features are a generator power lighting system, solar powered bird mitigation system to prevent birds from building nests and a fall arrest system for military personnel safety.