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Etihad Airways unit signs deal for first commercial 3D-printed part retrofit project
19 April 2017
Etihad Airways Engineering on Wednesday announced the signing of 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.
Etihad Airways Engineering and Diehl have collaborated to develop and manufacture an inflight entertainment (IFE) cover plate which will be installed in economy seats on several aircrafts of a Middle Eastern airline, the company said in a press statement.
The statement quoted Jeff Wilkinson, Etihad Airways Engineering Chief Executive Officer as saying the 3D-printed part offered a cost saving of around 20 to 30 percent, 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.
Last month, Thomson Reuters Projects reported that Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company Mubadala, the Dubai Future Foundation and the US-based General Electric (GE) Additive have partnered to build the region's first microfactories that facilitate small-scale batch manufacturing using 3D printing.
In January, Thomson Reuters Projects reported that Etihad Airways has joined hands with local Strata Manufacturing and Germany's Siemens to develop the first 3D-printed parts for aircraft interiors in the Middle East and North Africa.
© Zawya Projects News 2017