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British Royal Navy tests 3D printed drone

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    08:19, July 30, 2015
(Photo from dailymail.co.uk)

The British Royal Navy tested a 3D printed drone, which was developed by the Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft (SULSA), on July 22, the website of China News Service quoted a report by dsti.net. 

With the top speed reaching nearly 100 miles per hour, the SULSA drone, weighing just 3 kilograms, was launched from a 3-meter-long catapult, says the report.

The propeller-driven SULSA drone was 3D printed onshore and assembled on the ship for tests. It meant to demonstrate how what are essentially “disposable” drone aircraft might be used for military and rescue applications going forward. It has a wingspan of 1.5 meters

The printed aircraft like the SULSA onboard could not only cut costs, but also allow a crew to quickly adapt missions, says the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Jim Scanlan, a professor at Southampton University who works on the project, says this 3D printed drone represents a change in thinking. The ship-launched drones already in service are typically larger – and cost millions – but the 3D printed version of the drone are nearly disposable in comparison, according to the professor. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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