Finland’s first metal additively manufactured aircraft engine part has completed its maiden flight. The part, developed by Patria, was installed on an F/A-18 Hornet fighter operated by the Finnish airforce and flew for the first time on January 5, 2018.
Full details of the part have not been disclosed, however Patria reports that it was additively manufactured from Inconel 625 superalloy. The engine part was designed in accordance with Military Design Organisation Approval (MDOA), meeting European Military Aviation Requirements (EMARs) and granted by the Finnish Military Aviation Authority (FMAA).
Ville Ahonen, Vice President of Patria’s Aviation business unit, stated, “For this part, the development work has been done over the last two years, with the aim of exploring the manufacturing process for 3D printable parts, from drawing board to practical application.”
“Using 3D printing to make parts enables a faster process from customer need to finished product, as well as the creation of newer, better structures. We will continue research on additive manufacturing methods, with the aim of making the new technology more efficient,” he concluded.