Momentum - April 2019 - 14

TODAY'S
ENGINEERING

THE F-22 RAPTOR GETS ITS FIRST
METALLIC 3D-PRINTED PART
MAINTAINERS FROM the U.S. Air Force
574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
(AMXS) have installed the first titanium
additively manufactured component on
an operational Lockheed Martin F-22
Raptor. While the U.S. Air Force routinely
uses additive manufacturing (AM), also
known as 3D printing, to create parts for
legacy aircraft, the service is beginning
to incorporate the practice into supply
chains for fifth-generation aircraft.
The component-a bracket from the
kick panel assemble of the cockpit-
was manufactured using powder bed
fusion, a popular AM process commonly
used in the aerospace industry. During
the process, a digitally guided laser
selectively melts a metal powder
medium, fusing it to the previous layer.
The process is more economical than
traditional subtractive manufacturing
methods like stamping, milling, or
drilling, as unused "scrap" powder can
be recycled for later use.
"One of the most difficult things
to overcome in the F-22 community,
because of the small fleet size, is the
availability of additional parts to support
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force/R. Nial Bradshaw

The metallic printed bracket alongside the
aluminum part it will replace on an F-22 Raptor
during depot repair at Hill Air Force Base, Utah,
January 16, 2019.

14 April 2019

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force/R. Nial Bradshaw

the aircraft," said Robert Lewin, 574th
AMXS Director.
AM technology enables maintainers
to acquire replacement parts on short
notice without minimum order quantities,
which saves taxpayer dollars and reduces
the time the aircraft is in maintenance.
According to the maintainers, the
finished AM part can arrive as fast as
three days after ordering.
Furthermore, the original equipment
manufacturer (OEM) bracket, a
corrosion-prone aluminum component,
is replaced 80 percent of the time during
depot maintenance.
Although the new, printed titanium
part will not corrode, it will be monitored
while in service and inspected during the
aircraft's next scheduled maintenance at
Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
"We had to go to engineering, get
the prints modified," said Robert Blind,
Lockheed Martin Modifications Manager.
"We had to go through stress testing to
make sure the part could withstand the
loads it would be experiencing, which
isn't that much; that is why we chose a
secondary part.

Solutions that are faster, cheaper, and
better are not often come by: the service
says that the new bracket will be printed
for and installed on all F-22 aircraft
during maintenance if this test case is
validated.
At least five more F-22 metallic
AM parts are planned for validation
through public-private partnerships, in
order to reduce costs and maintenance
turnaround on one of the U.S. Air Force's
most advanced and expensive fighter
aircraft.
"We're looking to go a little bit further
as this part proves itself out," said Blind.
Said Lewin: "Once we get to the more
complicated parts, the result could be a
60- to 70-day reduction in flow time for
aircraft to be here for maintenance."
(Information and interviews originally
sourced by R. Nial Bradshaw, 75th Air
Base Wing Public Affairs)

By William Kucinski, Editor
SAE International, Standards, Information, and
Research Publications

MOMENTUM



Momentum - April 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - April 2019

Momentum - April 2019
Contents
A better MOMENTUM
Briefs
Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Turbulence on the track
Full circle
Lap simulation tool shows the way
Baja SAE technical inspection
VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
SAE 101: WCX 2019
Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - Momentum - April 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - April 2019 - Contents
Momentum - April 2019 - A better MOMENTUM
Momentum - April 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - April 2019 - Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Momentum - April 2019 - 5
Momentum - April 2019 - Turbulence on the track
Momentum - April 2019 - 7
Momentum - April 2019 - Full circle
Momentum - April 2019 - 9
Momentum - April 2019 - Lap simulation tool shows the way
Momentum - April 2019 - 11
Momentum - April 2019 - Baja SAE technical inspection
Momentum - April 2019 - VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
Momentum - April 2019 - The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
Momentum - April 2019 - SAE 101: WCX 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
Momentum - April 2019 - 17
Momentum - April 2019 - DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - 19
Momentum - April 2019 - 20
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover4
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