Josef Gropper, managing director and COO of Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS, says: “We are planning to produce more complex components in the future in order to fully utilise the potential of additive manufacturing.”

In autumn 2017, Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH, Liebherr’s centre of excellence for flight control systems, landing gears, gears and gearboxes, reached a key milestone: authorisation by the German Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrtbundesamt, LBA) to produce components using additive manufacturing. Liebherr has since been printing class 2 and 3 titanium serial parts, delivering them under EASA Form 1 - Authorised Release Certificate stating that a product, a part, or a component was manufactured in accordance with approved/not approved design data.

A Class 2 product is a major component of a Class 1 product, the failure of which would jeopardise the safety of a Class I product – Class 1 products include complete aircraft, aircraft engines or propellers.

Class 3 Products are parts that are not either of the above, including standard parts.