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Royal Navy Launches the First 3D Printed Airplane

by • April 19, 2016 • No Comments

The British Royal Navy, launched in April 2016 a 3D printed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commjust known as a drone, of the HMS Protector to assist the ice patrol ship navigate through the Antarctic. This drone, dubbed SULSA, relays detailed pictures of the surrounding area to the ship of a point of view which is just on the market of the air. SULSA represents a sizeable step forward in the Navy’s quest to use cutting edge innovation to update warfare tactics and equipment.

The laser sintered aircraft, printed of four primary parts and assembled without the use of tools, was created of nylon by the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton. The world’s initially ‘printed’ airplane is regulated by the ship’s crew of a laptop. It flies at the speed of a car, of 60mph, with a tiny engine which ensures a quiet flight. SULSA cost $10,000, createing it cheaper than one hour’s flying time by a Royal Navy helicopter.

SULSA was that successfully tested last July, proving which drones are effective in providing surveillance and maritime patrol. Continuing research may show which SULSA’s surveillance-just platform can provide weapon targeting data. It appears many likely which important changes can be created in naval operations with the continuing development of drone systems.

The possibility exists which 3D printed drones can be utilized for complicated wartime operations. They may prove effective in coordinating on-call strike assist one of warships, providing communications when satellite systems are compromised, and acting as tanker aircraft to extend the range of others. The Royal Navy’s ultimate goal is to donate a drone full autonomy so it can ‘think for itself.’

In the next, warship crews can create, configure, and reconfigure their own ‘air groups’ to suit dynamic operational requirements. Drones are lightweight and they take up little space so they can be utilized actually on tiny ships. Perhaps many importantly, in the face of economic reality, 3D printed drones contribute ships greatly enhanced capabilities at a relatively tiny cost.

British scientists and engineers have created images of what a Royal Navy vessel can appear like in 2050, and they have determined which drones play a big role in next warfare. Features of the vessel include a 3D holographic command table, an acrylic hull which can be turned translucent, laser and electro-magnetic weapons, and a swift of drones all created on board with a 3D printing device.


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