First ever RAF jet flies with 3D printed parts

Defence contractor BAE Systems says that it has produced 3D printed parts used in the first flights by Royal Air Force fighter jets.

The Guardian reports that these parts were on a Tornado aircraft flying from BAE’s Warton, Lancashire airfield in December. The parts included cockpit radio covers.

“You are suddenly not fixed in terms of where you have to manufacture these things, Mike Murray from BAE said, according to the BBC.

“You can manufacture the products at whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there, which means you can also start to support other platforms such as ships and aircraft carriers.

“And if it's feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn't traditionally have any manufacturing support."


Image: BAE Systems