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31 March 1998 CT-assisted reverse engineering for aging aircraft resupply
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The service life of military aircraft is being extended beyond original design intents. When the C-130 is eventually retired, it will have been in service for 79 years, well beyond its planned life expectancy of 40 years. Similarly, the KC-135s are presently expected to remain operational for 86 years, and the B-52 for 94 years. Not only are inventories of parts in short supply, but it is necessary to acquire parts no one expected to replace. The first step in any resupply activity is the creation of a data package. If nor computer-aided design (CAD) model exists, the demands of modern electronic commerce dictate than one be created. Creating a CAD model of an existing part is referred to as 'reverse engineering.' Computed tomography (CT) offers an ideal way to obtain metrology data critical to reveres engineering activities. Industrial CT systems have progressed to the point where they can nondestructively measure part dimensions at an accuracy competitive with coordinate measuring machines and a speed competitive with laser scanners. However, of the existing methods, only CT can nondestructively dimension interior surfaces, and only CT has the ability to densitometrically quantify the internal state of materials. The use of CT to help create CAD models for resupply efforts will be described and examples presented. Additionally, examples will be presented how the CT-created CAD models were then sued to fabricate replacement parts for aging systems.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert N. Yancey "CT-assisted reverse engineering for aging aircraft resupply", Proc. SPIE 3397, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, and Aerospace Hardware II, (31 March 1998);


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