DoD Certifies 3D-Printed Aircraft Part Written 14 June 2021


USAF F-16C flying over desert. | Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, USAF; Wikipedia, Public Domain

Breaking Defense reported that for the first time, the US Defense Department has certified as “airworthy a 3D printed aircraft engine part – an F110 sump cover produced under the Air Force’s collaborative initiative with General Electric called Pacer Edge.” While the F110 “sump cover is a small part, it is nonetheless important to how the engine – used by both the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets – functions.” The part’s “air worthiness certification moves the Air Force closer to its goal of expanding the use of 3D printing to boost aircraft readiness. Air Force leaders see additive manufacturing as key to resolving the service’s serious problems in maintaining aging aircraft and infrastructure and lowering costs.” The next step in the Pacer Edge program “will see a metal parts additive manufacturing supply chain established at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, starting with a buy of two GE printers in fiscal 2022.”
Full Story (Breaking Defense)