3D printing is making flying more economical and sustainable
British Airways is exploring new areas of application for additive manufacturing processes in aircraft construction. The weight savings anticipated as a result should improve the CO2 footprint of air traffic.17 Jan 2020 Kai Tubbesing
The UK airline British Airways has published a list of the ten most promising areas of application for 3D printing in aircraft production in the future . The company sees weight optimized, 3D printed components as one of the main elements on the way to its self-imposed target of CO2-neutral flying by 2050. The list ranges from individual components such as seat brackets, windows and circuit boards for electrical components, through to the outer skin of aircraft.
The company says that 3D printed objects weigh 55% less than conventionally manufactured components on average. Taken over the entire service life of an aircraft, British Airways is expecting to be able to save up to 25 metric tons of CO2 per kilogram of reduced weight. When it comes to production quality and durability, there is no need for compromise in comparison to conventional production processes either. Other airlines and service providers close to the industry, such as Ethihad Engineering , Emirates and http:// , are taking similar approaches.
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