Liebherr’s 3D primary flight control flown on an Airbus

35 % lighter in weight than the conventional valve block: The 3D printed spoiler actuator valve block made by Liebherr-Aerospace - © Liebherr

On March 30th 2017, Airbus successfully flew Liebherr-Aerospace’s 3D printed spoiler actuator valve block on a flight test A380. It is the first 3D printed primary flight control hydraulic component flown on an Airbus aircraft. The valve block made from titanium powder is part of Liebherr-Aerospace’s spoiler actuator and provides primary flight control functions on board the A380.

Liebherr-Aerospace developed the 3D printed hydraulic component in close cooperation with Airbus and the Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. The first flight testing of a 3D printed primary flight control hydraulic component shows that Liebherr-Aerospace and Airbus are pioneering the way aircraft systems will be developed and manufactured in the future. Their continuous investment and research into 3D printing now clearly yields fruit.

Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS is already working on the next generation of 3D printed hydraulic and electro-mechanic components such as a highly integrated rudder actuator.