3D-printed components flown in British fighter jet in successful test flight
LONDON (AFP) - A Tornado fighter jet fitted with metal components created on a 3-D printer undertook a successful test flight in Britain last month, defence company BAE Systems said on Sunday.
The plane was equipped with a 3D-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 3D-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.