The “Golden Concept Plane” was presented to Liebherr-Aerospace by Airbus in fall 2017 in Hamburg (Germany). The aircraft manufacturer honored its tier 1 supplier based on the successful first flight of Liebherr-Aerospace’s 3D printed spoiler actuator valve block on a flight test A380 on March 30th 2017. 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. It offers the same performance as the conventional valve block made from a titanium forging, but it is 35 % lighter in weight and consists of fewer parts.
Liebherr-Aerospace developed the 3D printed hydraulic component in close cooperation with Airbus and the Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. The project was partly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. 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.