Graphite Composite Materials Applications in Aircraft Structures 750533
Graphite fiber-reinforced composite materials have been evaluated for use in aircraft structural components, primarily as a means of reducing the weight of selected metal parts. Control surfaces, fairings, internal structures, and landing gear have been manufactured, laboratory tested, and, in many cases, flight tested. Weight savings of 15-30% have been demonstrated; and, through less conservative design estimates, savings in excess of 40% appear feasible. Raw material cost has been the pacing item in approaching business aircraft applications; however, current trends show strong potential for cost competitive use.