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    Drilling Down To Success

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    WPAFB, OH, UNITED STATES

    04.06.2017

    Video by Dennis Stewart 

    AF SBIR/STTR

    Construction of the F-35 Lightning II prototypes had hit a snag. Small-statured workers were having to squeeze into inlet ducts to drill hundreds of holes by hand to prepare ducts for attachment to the airframe. Not only was the inside-out drilling process unsustainable for workers, but in ultra-high-performance aircraft like the F-35, holes must be extremely consistent and precise.

    Northrop Grumman, a principle member of the F-35 industry team, took the challenge to the automotive sector, and in 2007, Michigan-based Variation Reduction Solutions, Inc. (VRSI) won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to find solutions. Three short years later, Northrop Grumman integrated the game-changing Inlet Duct Robotic Drilling (IDRD) cell into their F-35 Integrated Assembly Line, calling it the “crown jewel” of their production line.

    The VRSI-led IDRD technology is just one of many successful innovations enabled by the US Air Force’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. For more information, visit afsbirsttr.com.

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    VIDEO INFO

    Date Taken: 04.06.2017
    Date Posted: 10.10.2017 15:10
    Category: Package
    Video ID: 556173
    VIRIN: 170406-F-OU855-1000
    Filename: DOD_104929266
    Length: 00:04:20
    Location: WPAFB, OH, US

    Web Views: 173
    Downloads: 61
    High-Res. Downloads: 61
    Podcast Hits: 0

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    Drilling Down To Success