The US Air Force rules the skies across the globe, but budget cutbacks have forced its pilots to practice less and its technicians to be a bit more resourceful in finding spare parts for its jets.
Today, on Capitol Hill, Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis explained the affect that budget cuts have had on his men and women to Congress, and noted some assistance they've received from 3d printing.
“We’re proficient, but we’re not as good as we need to be because we don’t get the hours we need to get because there’s just not enough inventory here," Lt. Davis said to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, referring to the scarcity of spare parts and available aircraft for training exercises.
In one particular case, technicians needed a replacement nose gear for an F-18 but were having trouble locating one, so they 3d printed one on the spot and made due.
“I worry about my young aviators that aren’t getting the number of hours that they need," Lt. David told Congress today.