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The Air Force is pushing hard to generate fuel savings and cut the maintenance costs of its planes by boosting the use of titanium components across its aircraft programs.
While lighter and stronger than traditional aircraft materials, titanium parts are difficult to machine at high speeds so the cost is notoriously high and their applications are limited. Any improvement in the manufacturing of titanium parts could have a dramatic impact on affordability of aircraft, such as the F-35.
Backed by an Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/
STTR) award, New Hampshire-based Creare LLC made a significant leap in machining technology that could spur more widespread use of titanium in aircraft.
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