Etihad Airways Engineering and Diehl Aerosystems have collaborated to develop and manufacture an inflight entertainment (IFE) cover plate. It will be installed in economy seats on several aircraft of a Middle Eastern airline.
Additive manufacturing – commonly referred to as 3D printing – reduces lead time in design, decreases production cost of and enables speedier manufacturing.
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 explained that the 3D-printed part offered a cost saving of around 20 to 30%, with the added benefit of not requiring tooling and avoiding any permanent modification to the seat.
Etihad Airways 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 plastic parts.
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