Team APC Corrosion Experts traveled to Travis AFB, CA to work with maintainers from the 60th Maintenance Squadron and 349th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Engineering and Corrosion subject matter experts from the C-5 System Program Office to modify an aerodynamic fairing for a C-5M Super Galaxy by incorporating printed 3D parts.
When a Travis C-5M landed in Charleston AFB, South Carolina, during a mission in December, the crew discovered during a post-flight inspection that a section of the hump panel was missing. To get the aircraft fixed as soon as possible, a recommendation was made to integrate the 3D printed parts made from Antero 800NA, a new thermoplastic material, into the aircraft repair.
Team APC Corrosion experts provided technical expertise and assistance with the maintenance process, which involved completely removing the legacy parts from the plane and re-bonding the new 3D printed blocks and wedges to the aircraft and re-installing the panels. The new technology has expedited some C5-M maintenance and repairs. Integrating 3D printing technology resulted in faster turnaround times and reduced costs. It helps to provide the option to produce some parts on demand, rather than go through the lengthy process of sourcing parts from third parties, if a part is unavailable locally.
The integration of 3D printing technology into the maintenance and repair of the C-5M has had a significant impact for the U.S. Air Force. Faster repair times and the potential for cost savings have all combined to make the aircraft more operationally ready and cost-effective.
Exceptional work, Team APC!
Adapted from 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs article, published March 1, 2023