Industryweek 5929 3d Plane Part 1

Fighter Jet Flown with 3-D-printed Components

Jan. 5, 2014
The announcement follows NASA's successful test of a 3-D-printed rocket engine component in August last year, as aerospace companies seek cheaper and quicker ways to manufacture engineering parts.

LONDON - A Tornado fighter jet fitted with metal components created on a 3-D printer undertook a successful test flight in Britain last month, BAE Systems  (IW 1000/167) said Sunday.

The plane was equipped with a 3-D-printed protective cover for the cockpit radio, a protective guard in the landing gear and support struts on the air intake door, the British firm said.

The announcement follows NASA's successful test of a 3-D-printed rocket engine component in August last year, as aerospace companies seek cheaper and quicker ways to manufacture engineering parts.

"You are suddenly not fixed in terms of where you have to manufacture these things," said Mike Murray, Head of Airframe Integration at BAE Systems, announcing the successful test flight at the firm's airfield in Warton, northwest England.

"You can manufacture the products and whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there, which means you can also start to support other platforms such as ships and aircraft carriers.

"And if it's feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn't traditionally have any manufacturing support."

BAE said some of the parts -- produced at a Royal Air Force base in eastern England -- cost less than £100  (US$154) to manufacture, and had the potential to save hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, without giving details.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Executive Summary: Enterprise Resource Planning Manages Manufacturing Risk and Uncertainty in 2024

Jan. 4, 2024
Explore the future of manufacturing in 2024 by discovering how cloud-based ERP systems can help manufacturers thrive amidst supply chain disruptions and economic uncertainty.

How to Build a Predictive Maintenance Program: Lessons Learned from LSB Industries’ Success

Dec. 21, 2023
Register today and join this webinar to gain insight on best practices for setting up a predictive maintenance program from industry experts.

Transformative Capabilities for XaaS Models in Manufacturing

Feb. 14, 2024
The manufacturing sector is undergoing a pivotal shift toward "servitization," or enhancing product offerings with services and embracing a subscription model. This transition...

6 Ways Manufacturers Can Use GenAI Today

Feb. 1, 2024
Hear six compelling use cases where generative AI is making a significant impact in augmenting frontline workers and transforming operations. Learn how GenAI Assistants and smart...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!