Chinese fighter jets take advantage of Additive Manufacturing

November 26, 2022

A Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet takes off during a demonstration flight ahead of the 2014 China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Courtesy Xinhua)
A Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet takes off during a demonstration flight ahead of the 2014 China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Courtesy Xinhua)

China’s Shenyang Aircraft Company has reportedly begun utilising Additive Manufacturing on next-generation warplanes, with AM parts widely used on a newly developed aircraft that recently underwent its maiden flight. According to Global Times, other Chinese aircraft makers are also taking advantage of AM, through improved lightweighting, increased lifespan, and lower cost components.

“We are applying 3D printing technologies on aircraft on a large scale at an engineering level, and we are in a world-leading position,” Doctor Xiaodan Li, a member of the Luo Yang Youth Commando at Shenyang Aircraft Company’s Craft Research Institute, is reported to have told China Central Television (CCTV).

The Luo Yang Youth Commando used the latest AM equipment to produce components used by China’s new-generation warplanes, CCTV reported. “3D printed parts were widely used on a newly developed aircraft that has made its maiden flight not long ago,” CCTV quoted Li as saying.

The Shenyang Aircraft Company is a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China and has built many combat warplanes for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), from the country’s first generation J-5 fighter jet to the modern J-15 carrier-based fighter jet and the J-16 multirole fighter jet.

It also developed China’s second stealth fighter jet, the FC-31, a version of which is expected to be further developed into China’s next generation carrier-based fighter jet, according to analysts.

“3D printing technologies have now been implemented in major aircraft manufacturing factories of the Chinese aviation industry, making China a country to use such technologies on a large scale,” the CCTV report said.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap