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Alternative Manufacturing for Aerospace Parts

April 03, 2019 / Kip Hanson

A typical commercial jetliner contains millions of discrete components, yet provided the plane arrives at its destination safely, on schedule, and hopefully, without a screaming baby behind them, most of the flying public could care less how any of those parts were made. Airline passengers might care more about their plane’s construction, however, if they knew that the manufacturing methods used to build it have a direct effect on everything from ticket prices and aircraft durability to passenger comfort and Planet Earth’s air quality.
These methods have changed greatly over recent years, thanks in large part to an airline industry that demands improved fuel efficiency in order to reduce fuel costs, and government-mandated, increasingly stringent limits on fuel consumption. The argument for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles of all kinds has, in turn, led to the adoption of new materials and manufacturing technologies that were unheard of even a few decades ago an...