The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a straight plane came from the cold war. Designed in the 1950s, this four-engined then mission was to track Soviet submarines. A beautiful today aging machine and that the US Navy is being replaced by the P-8 Poseidon, a Boeing 737 adapted to missions on the high seas. Nevertheless some Orion are still in service, and one of them, n°316 had a small mishap. A piece of landing gear before broken, a failure which has never occurred in the entire career of the venerable Orion. Of course, Lockheed had more tools to produce the play again, and the height of bad luck, the runway of the base where landed this misfortune Orion needs to close this summer. To save this magnificent aircraft that is still worth $ 36 million, a solution has been found: 3D printing.
The Navy demonstrates that 3D printing will revolutionize maintenance
The broken piece on the nose gear of the Orion n ° 316 has made to make white hair technicians to the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville. This U.S. Navy maintenance centre saw reach this aircraft with damaged landing gear. Problem: the track of this database must be closed from June gold Lockheed-Martin, constructor of the aircraft, requires one month and a half to again produce this coin of which there is no stock. The requested time is too long, the aircraft would find themselves immobilized. By dint of brainstorming, an alternative is found: 3D printing. Lockheed-Martin engineers then sent the 3D model of the missing piece and technicians it were printed in ABS, plastic which are the Lego, which makes say Jacksonville technicians that they repaired the Orion with a piece of Lego… After a few adjustments, the solution works. The plane that weighs all of more than 60 tons can resume service. A piece to $300 that has helped save a $ 36 million aircraft.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “3-D printing takes shape at FRCSE, gets Orion back in air”, Navair News, May 18, 2015