In Brief: 3D Printers Make Aircraft Engines; Military Wildfire Fight; Biden’s India Visit

Mike O'Brien
Posted: 06/24/2013

AS 3D PRINTERS start to make a serious impact in the defense industry, GE Aviation announced it will use them to produce cobalt-chromium fuel nozzles for Leap engines.

The company will use a MarketBot printer to "grow" the part instead of assembling it using the previously required 18 components.

GE Aviation brought a demonstration model to the Paris Air Show to show how easy they are to use, Defensetech.org reports.

The company plans to invest at least $3.5 billion in 3D printing, with officials believing aircraft parts could be made up to 20 times faster using the technology instead of regular assembly.

GE Aviation, for example, said the MarketBot printer can produce parts out of plastic, titanium, aluminum and steel.

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force has already deployed a team of engineers with a 3D printer to Afghanistan.

TWO MORE Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped military C-130 aircraft have joined the battle against wildland fires in Colorado.

The U.S. Forest Service requested the additional aircraft through the National Interagency Fire Center.

Two aircraft from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, based in Port Hueneme, Calif., deployed yesterday to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.

They join two C-130s from Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing, based at Peterson, which have been engaged in aerial firefighting for more than a week.

The request is in response to the spread of wildland fires in southern Colorado and neighboring states and the significant fire forecast for the coming week, officials said.

U.S. VICE President Joe Biden will visit India next month to continue strategic talks between that country and the U.S.

Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement after the India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue in India on Tuesday, which he co-chaired with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid.

On his June 23-25 maiden visit to India, Kerry led a delegation of energy and defense officials, including Ernest Moniz, the energy secretary, and US Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of Pacific Command. Kerry also met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The talks on Tuesday focused on Afghanistan after the US-led international forces begin to leave next year and on a U.S.-India nuclear deal.

Mr. Kerry described the bond between India and the U.S. as "one of the defining relationships of the 21st century."

Mike O'Brien
Posted: 06/24/2013