Etihad Airways Engineering has signed an agreement with Diehl Aerosystems to jointly design, manufacture and install the first serial produced 3D-printed cabin plastic part on an aircraft for one of its customers.
– commonly referred to as 3D-printing – reduces lead time in design, decreases production
cost of and enables speedier manufacturing.
Engineering and Diehl have collaborated to develop and manufacture an inflight
entertainment (IFE) cover plate which will be installed in economy seats on
several aircraft of a Middle Eastern airline. The two companies plan to create a
range of products based on the experience gained from this pilot project.
Jeff Wilkinson, Etihad
Airways Engineering Chief Executive Officer, said: “Etihad Airways Engineering
is leveraging its Part 21J Design Organisation approval by EASA – with Diehl
contributing as a Part 21G Production Organisation – in this pilot project.
“Our partnership with
Diehl will help us commercialise this technology and make it available to our
customers around the world.”
He explained that the
3D-printed part offered a cost saving of around 20 to 30 per cent, with the
added benefit of not requiring tooling and avoiding any permanent modification
to the seat.
Engineering is the first airline maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
provider with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
approval to design, certify, manufacture and fly 3D-printed aircraft cabin
Diehl Aerosystems has
been working in the field of 3D printing technology for several years, building
up knowledge and capabilities to supply EASA-certified 3D-printed aircraft
parts to the aviation industry. Diehl can act as design partner and Production
Organisation, depending on the customer requirements.
Engineering is an AS9110 certified organisation and already holds EASA 145
approval, alongside EASA 21J approval for designing and undertaking minor and major
changes and repairs. The company is the Middle East’s leading aviation MRO