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Lockheed Martin Using Laser to Inspect F-22 Composite Parts
Jul 2000
FORT WORTH, Texas, July 24 -- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a developer of military aircraft technology based in Bethesda, M.d., has begun inspecting composite F-22 parts at its multimillion-dollar facility in Fort Worth, Texas, using its LaserUT ultrasonic technology system.
We recently inspected a large section of the F-22 engine inlet duct in less than two hours using LaserUT compared to 24 hours with the first-generation inspection equipment, said Russell W. Ford, vice president of Aerostructures Manufacturing at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. With this 90 percent reduction in inspection time, we expect to shorten manufacturing span times by many weeks and to realize substantial cost savings over the course of F-22 and Joint Strike Fighter production. Also, the accuracy of the system will help us achieve even higher standards of quality.
The new laser system is capable of handling composite parts up to 54 × 27 × 21 feet. The company provided funds for the research and development of the technologies with the support of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

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