British fighter jet conducts successful test flights with 3D printed parts

BAE Systems has conducted successful test flights with a fighter aircraft that contained 3D printed components.  The metal components were used in test flights from the firm’s airfield at Warton, Lancashire, late last month. The parts include protective covers for cockpit radios and guards for power take-off shafts. It is hoped the technology could cut the RAF’s maintenance and service bill by over £1.2m over the next four years.

3D printed guns might be formally illegal in the UK, but that hasn’t stopped the country’s armed forces from adopting the technology for military purposes. Defense company BAE says that in December, British Tornado fighter aircraft conducted successful test flights with parts made in 3D printers for the first time. The metal parts were created by BAE at a Royal Air Force base in Norfolk for four squadrons of Tornado GR4 jets.

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