BAE Systems, which helps the UK's RAF put together its aircraft, has revealed that some Tornado fighter jets have been flying with spare parts built using a 3D printer.
Flights heading out from BAE's Warton airfield in the UK have seen Tornado GR4s flying off with 3D printed cockpit radio covers, support struts and power take-off shafts. All those parts have been built using 3D printers, which build up layers of metal to create replacement fittings.
It's not just for show either: the dream is to shave $US1.8 million off the RAF's maintenance costs over the next four years. Plus, it may be possible to install printers in front line scenarios, speeding access to parts in remote war zones. [BBC]
Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone — so check them out if you need another Giz fix.