BAE Systems, a large global contractor for the aerospace and defense industries, has developed a number of 3D printed components - both plastic and metal - for use in jet aircraft, including the Royal Air Force in Great Britain. BAE's central engineering team and BAE Systems in Lancashire, England are developing these components.
One of the components that achieved success in metal 3D printing was a mounted camera bracket, flown from BAE's airfield at Warton in Lancashire. In addition to BAE's first metal part that flew from Warton, the company has engineers designing and producing 3D printed functional components at RAF Marham to support the aircraft when it is being maintained on the ground, said BAE.
The parts are made from a plastic material and include protective covers for Tornado cockpit radios, which support struts on the air intake door and protective guards for Power Take-off shafts. Use of these parts will cut the cost of repairs, maintenance and service to the Royal Air Force to the tune of more than 1.2 million pounds over the next four years.