Preparing for Takeoff
Bell Helicopter manufactures the heavy-lift “tiltrotor” Osprey, the hybrid aircraft that combines features of both airplane and helicopter to accomplish what none of its forbears can do. It can lift off, hover, and land vertically yet it can cruise at high altitudes at jet speeds.
When the aircraft recently underwent an experimental tail-wiring upgrade, technicians at the rapid prototyping lab at Bell Xworx used a Fortus FDM (fused deposition modeling) system to build tough polycarbonate wiring conduits. Technicians installed the branching conduits in six mating sections inside the Osprey’s twin vertical stabilizers for on-the-ground testing of its wiring.