Defense

August 11, 2014

NAVAIR partners with industry on 3-D printing, develop a roadmap for the future

A plastic part, printed from a 3-D printer at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., is used as a fit check to install an MH-60R instrumentation operatorís seat onto an MH-60S aircraft. The part, which will be replaced by a machined part, is one example of NAVAIR’s use of additive manufacturing.

Naval Air Systems Command has embraced rapidly evolving 3-D printing technology to deliver superior capabilities to the war fighter at a rapid pace and a lower cost.

Together, the NAVAIR team and industry providers focused on developing a roadmap for the future as they discussed the current opportunities and challenges associated with 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, at the NAVAIR Additive Manufacturing Industry Day on July 24.

Vice Adm. David Dunaway, NAVAIR’s commander, spoke during the event at the Holiday Inn in Solomons, Maryland, where he laid out the goals and the reasons why additive manufacturing will play a part in the command’s future.

Naval aviation is well capitalized. If you look at our production curve, it is going to tremendously decrease by 2018 or 2019, Dunaway said. We’re in the sustainment phase. We’re going to have to think about how we apply the limited resources we have. I think additive manufacturing will allow us to optimally use those resources.

Currently, the Air Vehicle Modification and Instrumentation (AVMI) group is using AM to support naval aircraft flight testing and prototyping projects at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.

Using their two 3-D printers, engineers at AVMI have fabricated components such as antenna covers, environmental cooling system ducts and mechanical spacers, as well as geometrically-representative models for form and fit checks.

AM technology has advanced well beyond printing plastics, giving users the ability to print metal, explosives, food, compound materials and more. Since NAVAIR does not yet have these capabilities in-house, it plans to leverage industry to acquire them.

The use of AM in the military aerospace industry is not insignificant, said Jack Pratt, AVMI chief engineer. At NAVAIR, we must engage our industry partners and ensure that where AM technology developments benefit the warfighter, NAVAIR’s inputs to industry are clear and part of a well-implemented plan.

NAVAIR’s AM goals are to build better parts and more of them for use on aircraft, and to manage all of the data collection. The Additive Manufacturing Roadmap laid out these goals and identified hurdles to overcome.

Ultimately, we want to leverage AM to deliver warfighter capability, said Liz McMichael, NAVAIR’s additive manufacturing integrated product team lead. To do that, we need to address some key technical challenges, including putting safety-critical AM parts on our aircraft, and making sure we understand how to qualify and certify them. We also need to address the business and acquisition challenges that exist including contracting, costing, data rights and intellectual property to enable us to use AM as a standard process.

There is still a long way to go, but NAVAIR is committed to partnering with industry to accelerate the introduction of AM across the command.

Our roadmap is intended to focus our activities across NAVAIR and leverage the AM industry base as much as possible, McMichael said. We think we can move much faster as a coordinated team.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year – In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>