DLA, Air Force and GE Contract to Certify AM Engine PartMay 4, 2020
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation, the Air Force and General Electric in March signed a contract to construct and evaluate an engine part for airworthiness produced using AM. The part under evaluation: a sump pump cover used on General Electric’s F110 and F118 engines, which account for some 1000 Air Force engines and power the F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft, and the B-2 bomber.
“This is an exciting initiative and has the potential to advance the use of AM in engine sustainment, improving readiness short- and long-term for engines, but more importantly, to improve confidence in AM technologies that may lead to expansion in other areas,” says DLA Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. David Sanford.
“The sump cover was a great design―it’s been working for over 30 years,” says Leonard Hayes, program manager for Technology Insertion in the Air Force’s Propulsion Directorate. “Unfortunately, when you haven’t ordered any new parts in a long time, no one is making new ones. Now that we need some, they are very hard to get. It doesn’t make a very good long-term business case for industry to keep using traditional processes to support our small and aging fleets of USAF weapon systems.”
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