Air Force Plant 85
Air Force Plant 85 was operated by North American Aviation Operations, Rockwell International Corporation. It covers 518 acres and 3.4 million square feet, all government owned. The plant has a high bay fabrication and assembly area, part of which is used as a machine shop, and flyaway capability from the Port of Columbus Airport.
AFP 85 was constructed in 1941 under the sponsorship of the Defense Plant Corporation (DPC). During World War II, the plant employed over 24,000 people and produced over 3,500 naval aircraft under contracts with Curtiss-Wright Corp. Production declined after the war, and Curtiss-Wright ceased operations in 1950. The Navy acquired the title for the plant from the DPC in 1950 and transferred the operation to North American Aviation, Inc. (NAA) as the Naval Industrial Reserve Aircraft Plant (NIRAP). Several new facilities and buildings were built from 1953 to 1964. Rockwell International acquired NAA in 1967. NIRAP Columbus was transferred from the Navy to the Air Force in 1982 and redesignated AFP 85. During the 197Os, the plant was virtually idle, with only 2,000 employees in 1979.
The plant produced the F-100 Supersaber, RF-6 Vigilante, T-2 Buckeye, T-28 Trojan, and OV-10 Bronco. As of 1986, it was the main subassembly point for the B-1B Nacelle, Wing Carry Through, and Forward Intermediate Fuselage assembly. The plant is also the assembly plant for the OV-10 and MX Peacekeeper guidance section structure, as well as the Shuttle Aft bodyflap, crew module components, and windshield canopy assembly.
Environmental studies since FY86 have identified 11 sites and 1 area of concern (AOC) at Air Force Plant No. 85. Historical operations at the installation involved use of solvents and petroleum products. Contaminants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have affected groundwater, surface water, sediment, and soil. In FY94, the installation conducted supplemental investigations of pesticide contamination at the fire training area. In FY95, the installation began to remove soil contaminated with PCBs. In FY96, the AOC was closed under a letter of concurrence from the Ohio EPA, and the installation began a groundwater and surface water investigation. Fieldwork on the investigation was completed in FY97. In FY97, the Aeronautical Systems Center began using the State of Ohio's Voluntary Action Program rules, which were codified in that year. The restoration of the fire training area was deferred, pending further analyses. The site may be closed after a risk assessment is conducted. In addition, Air Force Plant No. 85 property was sold, with sales proceeds to be used for environmental restoration.
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