The Cost of Aircraft Manufacturing
The average price tag of a commercial airliner can be anywhere between $100 – $500 million. Maintenance expenses depend on vehicle size but can range from $500k to $4 million annually. Not to mention the cost of time, crew, and fuel for the aircraft! However, new technology is making waves across the industry that will save time, money, and resources for all companies, consumers, and hard-working mechanics.
Additive Manufacturing in Aviation
In the production industry, Additive Manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3D printing, is a set of processes that create a physical object from a digital design. Types of AM include Binder Jetting, Directed Energy Deposition, Material Extrusion, Powder Bed Fusion, Sheet Lamination, and Vat Polymerization.
AM allows manufacturers to build parts and products lighter, stronger, faster, and more durable than traditionally manufactured components, making aircraft and parts more affordable and available.
While 3D printing has existed for more than 30 years, its primary use has been to build small models and prototypes. Today, 3D printing is used in aviation to make products like the customized interior of aircraft, aircraft engine components, and even whole rockets!
Other Advancing Technologies
Aircraft Technicians can spend a lot of time on discussions, paperwork, errors, and thumbing through paper manuals before they begin a repair.
For this reason, many companies are making the change to go paperless! Airbus has recently released its new software application, the Airbus eTech 3D Repair, designed to streamline the process to record, assess, monitor, and report structural damages through one procedure.
Technicians can capture and instantly share information with manufacturers and suppliers. This system also houses manuals for fast access and easy reference. Additionally, a complete view of aircraft with all damages and a history of incidences are available in one place.
This application will also allow mechanics to get fast approval for repair by notifying the appropriate managers and administration, significantly reducing the time and energy it takes for aircraft to be back in service.
Preparing Future Mechanics for the Aviation Industry
Aviation is continuously evolving as new technologies disseminate into the industry. NAA is in constant contact with companies that recruit and hire our alumni to ensure our training meets industry standards and instilling the most desired employee qualities in our students. After all, it is our mission to place you in high demand positions for life-long quality careers!
Technology is an ever-changing constant in aviation, which means your growth will be continuous. Besides your technical expertise and certifications, the most important, highly demanded skills you can bring into the workplace is a willingness to learn, accountability, integrity, and initiative.