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World's first 3D-printed aircraft THOR displayed at International Aerospace Exhibition

The drone THOR is short for Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality and it resembles a large, white model airplane.

Jun 6, 2016 13:10 IST
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ThorAirbus on 1 June 2016 displayed the world's first 3D-printed aircraft THOR at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Schoenefe.

The drone THOR is short for Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality and it resembles a large, white model airplane.

About 3D-printed aircraft THOR

• Is the world's first 3D-printed aircraft with just 3 parts.

• It is windowless, weighs 21 kilo grams (46 pounds) and less than four metres (13 feet) long. It is Lighter, faster and cheaper.

• Except the electrical elements, all other parts are printed (3D) from a substance called polyamide.

• Thor's inaugural flight was conducted in November 2015 near the northern German city of Hamburg.

• Airbus and Boeing are already using 3D printing, notably to make parts for their huge passenger jets the A350 and B787 Dreamliner.

3D printing in Aviation

• The new 3D printers can make pieces up to 40 centimetres (15 inches) long and is of most use in particularly complex designs.

• Apart from costs savings, 3D printing also promises ecological benefits as lighter jets use less fuel and spew out fewer pollutants.

• It will be a radical technical innovation to reducing carbon emissions in aviation with air traffic expected to double in the next 20 years.

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