The U.S. Army showed off its new technology and advertised for China.2019-01-31 10:25:42 330 ℃
According to the report of United States International on January 18, three-dimensional printed titanium metal parts have been installed on the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter for the first time, and it takes only three days from order to delivery to warehouse. The U.S. Air Force hopes to reduce the maintenance cost and time of the fighter. It is not a new thing for fighter aircraft to install 3D printing parts. Besides the United States, Britain and China have also made remarkable achievements in this field. So which one is the best technology for 3D printing military aircraft parts? This article will give you a brief analysis.
According to the report of United States International News on January 18, the force responsible for the first three-dimensional printing parts for F-22 belongs to the U.S. Air Force 574 Military Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. "One of the most difficult problems for the F-22 fighter unit to overcome is whether it has additional spare parts to maintain the fighter because of its small fleet size (187 F-22 fighter models and 8 test prototypes as of December 2011)," said team commander Robert Luin.
The 3D printing parts used in this F-22 are actually a titanium metal bracket made of titanium powder (3D printing is based on digital model blueprints, using bindable materials such as powdered metal or plastics to construct objects by laminated printing, and ultimately the blueprints are turned into physical objects, originally developed by American scientists in 1986), which is used to replace the F-22 cockpit module Zhongyuan. First corrosion-prone aluminium bracket.
DATA PICTURE: US Air Force ground crew at Hill Air Force Base in Utah are maintaining F-22. The U.S. Air Force said that the advantage of 3D printing parts is that F-22 maintenance forces can obtain replacement parts in a short period of time (from army orders to warehouse delivery in only three days), and there is no requirement for the minimum order quantity of parts, and the cost of printed parts is also low. Commander Luin added: "When we can get more complex components through 3D printing, the maintenance time of the F-22 can also be reduced by 60 to 70 days." This will undoubtedly play a multiplier role in improving the operational efficiency of the U.S. F-22, in addition to the maintenance costs can be significantly reduced. According to the U.S. Air Force plan, at least five 3-D printed metal parts will be tested on the F-22. Once the test is successful, it will be fully extended to all F-22 stealth fighter maintenance operations in service. < p > < p > < section > < section > < section > < section > < section > < section > < strong > British "Storm" fighter "pioneer" 3D printing parts cost less than 100 pounds < / strong > < / section > < / section > < / section > < / section > < section > < p > In fact, the US Air Force is not the first force to use 3D printing parts on active fighter aircraft. According to Agence France-Presse, as early as December 2013, a Royal Air Force (RAF) GR4 with three-dimensional printed metal parts was successfully tested at Wharton Airport in Lancashire, northwest England. The British aerospace system (BAES) company, which is responsible for providing 3D printing components, said that the 3D printing components used in the successful test flight of the Tornado attacker include cockpit radio shield, landing gear protection device and intake bracket components. It can be seen that the type and quantity of 3D printing components used by the British "Storm" are much higher than that of the later U.S. F-22.
Royal Air Force Rage GR4 Attacker Takeoff Data Map.
BAES staff member in charge of the project, Mike Murray, said: "The flight test results are very successful. When the relevant technology is further mature, people can produce relevant parts in any area as long as they have a 3D printer." According to him, the three-dimensional printing parts used in the test flight were manufactured at RAF base in eastern England. Some parts cost less than 100 pounds (about 993.05 yuan, face value in 2014). If they are promoted on a large scale, they will save hundreds of thousands of pounds per year for RAF maintenance in the future.
Murray also predicted the future application of 3D printing technology: "In the future, for the front-line combat forces, after equipped with 3D printers, even without any logistical support, the troops only need to equip with relevant materials, they can produce their own parts and components, which can greatly improve equipment maintenance and operational efficiency."< p> < section > < section > < section > < section > < section > < section > < section > < strong > China has mastered the core technology of 3D printing. The assumption of the British technicians on the application of 3D printers was quickly confirmed. On April 7, 2018, U.S. Marine F-35B ground crew aboard the U.S. Navy's LHD-1 amphibious assault ship proudly displayed their latest 3D printing fighter components, but it was no surprise that they actually used a Chinese-made 3D printer to complete this "feat", coincidentally the "Hornet" at that time. Patrols are being carried out in the Asia-Pacific region.
The cause of the incident was the damage of plastic clasps on the hatch door of an F-35B short-drooping stealth fighter. However, as a new fighter, the F-35B-related components carried on the U.S. amphibious warship were pitiful. (The U.S. Marine Corps F-35B had "initial operational capability" at the end of July 2015, but only three amphibious warships, the Hornet, Essex and the United States, were on board at present. It has carried F-35B and has not yet completed a full replacement.
According to the usual practice, the ground crew on the Hornet had to contact the base in the United States to transport a new hatch assembly by air. It took as soon as a week to deliver it, and the freight was very expensive. The crew on board were inspired to think of a new 3-D printer installed on board before the deployment. They quickly downloaded the drawings of the clip from the Internet and printed one directly in 3-D, which could be used directly. This is the first time that the US Marine Corps deployed at sea, using 3D printing parts to solve the problem of aircraft maintenance, not only fast, but also very cost-effective. The Propaganda Department of the U.S. Army certainly can't let such a good opportunity pass, but also specially let the ground crew take a photo in front of the F-35B with spare parts.
US Marine Corps ground crew displayed F-35B hatch parts printed with Chinese 3D printers.
But it is unexpected that although US military propaganda personnel blurred the details of 3D printers when they released photos, they still could not escape the sharp-eyed Chinese netizens. After careful comparison, they found that the 3D printers used by the US army were actually high-precision dual-nozzle 3D printers produced by a Chinese Zhejiang enterprise called "Dreamer", and the online purchase price. Only 6,000 yuan, and support for 16 language operations, was originally a rare military propaganda opportunity for the U.S. Army. As a result, it turned into an advertising campaign for Chinese 3D printers. The truth is really astonishing.
DATA PICTURE: US Marine Corps manufactures components for F-35B fighter using Chinese 3D printers.
In fact, China is the second country to master laser rapid prototyping technology for aircraft titanium alloy structural parts after the United States. In the field of 3D printing of military aircraft parts and components, China started not later than the Western countries, and belongs to the "first international echelon" level. Sun Cong, the chief designer of China's first carrier-based aircraft J-15, previously disclosed in a media interview that the 3D printing technology of titanium alloy and M100 steel has been widely used in the design and trial-production process of new aircraft models, according to People's Network on January 7, 2014. Among them, the new model, which first flew successfully from October to November 2012, has widely used 3D printing technology to manufacture the main bearing parts of titanium alloy, including the whole front landing gear.
DATA PICTURES: Pictures of metal frame components of Chinese 3D printing engines circulated on the Internet.
Although traditional manufacturing technology can not be replaced in the short term, it can be predicted that 3D printing technology will become the "backbone" of military industry development and logistics of front-line combat forces of major countries in the future, which people can wait and see. <<
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