Finland's first 3D-printed aircraft engine part had its maiden flight on 5 January 2018. The part has been installed in the F/A-18 Hornet fighter. Patria has been working on the manufacturing process for 3D-printed parts over the last two years.
The part was designed in accordance with the MDOA approval granted to Patria and was manufactured from the Inconel 625 superalloy. MDOA approval refers to Military Design Organisation Approval in accordance with European Military Aviation Requirements (EMARs) and granted by the Finnish Military Aviation Authority (FMAA).
Patria is actively involved in exploring new methods of manufacturing and repairing various parts. "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," says Ville Ahonen, Vice President, Patria's Aviation business unit.