Mr. Molent has over 35 years experience in the role of an airworthiness engineer/scientist. In addition to providing high-level advice on through life structural airworthiness to the Royal Australian Air Force for a range of aircraft (including the F-35, F/A-18, F-111, PC9 and P3-C Orion), Loris has been attached to both the (then) Australian Civil Aviation Department (1985) and the US Navy (NAVAIR, 1990-1991) in Washington D.C. as an airworthiness engineer. With the US Navy Loris had airworthiness management responsibilities for the F/A-18 fleet as well as the X-31 Enhanced Manoeuvrability Fighter Aircraft. Up to 2020 Loris was the Head of Emerging Aircraft Structural Integrity at DST Group. He was presented with the Minister’s Award for Scientific Achievement in 2010 and an Order of Australia Medal in 2016.
Some of this airworthiness advice included the estimation of airframe service lives due to metal fatigue, the structural assessment and review of airworthiness certification basis of new aircraft types, conduct and interpretation of major full-scale airframe test programs leading to in-service modification programs, structural recovery programs subsequent to aircraft accidents and the development of holistic total life risk of structural failure techniques.
Loris has contributed significantly to the science of structural airworthiness through research into and development of novel crack growth models, the effects of multiple crack interactions (multi-site damage), advance composite (boron epoxy) bonded repairs, vulnerability of aircraft structures to explosions, and standards for fatigue life monitoring/tracking of agile aircraft and teardown of aging airframes.
Loris has been involved with the development and application of advanced bonded repairs. Some significant applications included the reinforcement of the RAAF’s F111 wing pivot fitting and the design of USAF’s C141 wing weep-hole reinforcement. The later helped the USAF bridge the gap between the C141 and C17. Loris’ team also applied several bonded reinforcements to the Boeing 747 fuselage fatigue test article.
Notably Loris’ team helped extend the service life of the F/A-18 and F111 by over ten years with economical solutions.