Advanced Materials for Agricultural Aircraft 800610
A study of advanced system design requirements for aerial applications aircraft for agriculture by the Lockheed-Georgia Company under contract to the NASA indicated that advanced composite structures appear to offer both performance and economic advantages when applied to these aircraft. Agricultural aircraft preliminary designs incorporating both conventional and advanced composite structural materials were studied using an aerial application operations analysis model. These studies indicate that an all-composite agricultural aircraft would provide a 6% improvement in mission productivity over that of a conventional all-aluminum aircraft, and essentially equal mission economics. Used selectively in its most effective structural manner, composite materials can provide improvements of the order of 5% in both mission productivity and economics. These studies also indicate that composite materials offer a significant potential for reducing the severe corrosion problems common to aerial application aircraft.