The South Korea air force, ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) update on 3D printing to lower costs to maintain its combat aircraft. Last illustration for date, engines of his fighter F-15K “Slam Eagle”. 3D laser printing allowed to shorten the time and reduce costs radically. Experience was deemed sufficiently conclusive to the ROKAF broaden the use other parts of aircraft, but also to equipment on the ground.
The price of the turbojet engine room divided by 14 through 3D printing
130 million won (€106.600), it is the amount that the Korean air force hopes to save each year thanks to the 3D metal printing. It is the wear observed on the walls of the high pressure turbine which is at the origin of this technological evolution. General Electric, constructor of the F110 turbofan which equip these devices called 40 million won (more than €36.000) and 60-day time limit for each part to replace.
Rather than order these parts in the United States with General Electric, the ROKAF turned to the company Insstek, a manufacturer of 3D printer laser able to produce or repair of aircraft parts. The development of the 3D part was engaged in 2012 that abrasion of the walls of the F110 engine turbine was detected. GE Aviation has certified the piece printed in 3D. Now 14 of the 40 F-15K available to South Korea have benefited from this repair. Printed on place, the room costs more only 3 million won (less than €2,500). A price divided by 14 compared to the price charged by the manufacturer for a period of production reduced to 20 days only, so many reasons why the ROKAF wished to extend the use of 3D printing to other aeronautical and equipment parts.
Translation : Bing Translator
Source : “Air Force introduces 3-D printing in maintenance of fighter jets”, Yonhap, November 26, 2015