In April of 2007, Direct Dimensions was approached by BAE Systems with a typical 3D problem. BAE is a global aerospace and defense company specializing in the development and support of land, air, and naval defense systems. This particular project was for the U.S. Navy, which had contracted BAE to aid in re-engineering a particular problem related to aging aircraft.
The problem was that the rear cargo door seals on several of their aging C2 planes had begun to deteriorate. Lacking a seal to maintain interior pressure at high altitude, the pilots were being forced to fly lower. BAE’s task, therefore, was to redesign the cargo door sealing system and manufacture new seals that would allow for higher flight altitudes.
Given this challenge, BAE in turn contracted Direct Dimensions, a team member of the Navy’s FastTrack program vehicle. Over the course of several months, DDI engineers traveled to naval airfields in Southern MD, San Diego, and Norfolk to scan the cargo door seals on a total of (10) C2 planes with a portable FARO Scan Arm system.
The goal was to capture an accurate representation of the deterioration that the seals had incurred during the life of the planes. With this raw 3D data gathered during scanning, DDI then created reverse engineered 3D CAD models of the actual shape of the seals and seal channels. These models allowed BAE to then redesign the seals and manufacture a new, accurately-fitted sealing system. These new seals will be installed into the existing cargo doors, letting these veteran planes fly another day.