The a combination of different materials that have

The Material Used in the Design of Aircraft Wings What materials used can be the difference between making an aircraft efficient or dangerous. Alessio Spampinato explains the different usable materials in aircraft wings. The first material used in aircraft was wood. At the time (1903) wood was the optimum choice in aircraft materials as it could resist to adverse environmental conditions with the right preservation techniques (Spampinato, 2015). The next step is diverse group of metals; Steel, Aluminium, and Titanium. Aluminum has lower density values compared to steel alloys and good corrosion resistance (Spampinato, 2015). Steel is used for the parts of the plane that need to be the strongest such as landing gears. Titanium is lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant, for this fact, are used in engine components and designed to resist heat (Spampinato, 2015). Another material used in aircrafts are composites. Composites are materials that are a combination of different materials that have different properties for different structural purposes. Composites are used because of their strength, relatively low weight, and corrosion resistance (Spampinato, 2015). Alessio Spampinato moves into the topic of the wings in modern aircraft. The building of modern day wings in aircraft revolves around improving aerodynamics (noise reduction and performance) and fuel efficiency. Depending on the aircraft being designed will determine the types of materials being used, such as using composites in ultralights (Spampinato, 2015). Mr. Spampinato uses a statistic, “It has been estimated that 1% reduction of the amount of drag for a large transport aircraft can save up to 400,000 litres of fuel, thus reducing emissions by around 5000 kg.” (Spampinato, 2015) Mr. Spampinato proceeds to explain different and new wing designs to help improve our modern day wings in aircrafts. The PrandtlPlane Configuration, known as the ‘best wing system’ concepts by Ludwig Prandtl in 1924. This configuration is a lifting system resembles a box that, under specific conditions, has the minimum value of induced drag. A research project called IDINTOS with Italian public and private partners designed an ultralight and uses Composite materials in the entirety of the structure (Spampinato, 2015). Another new design is the Flexfoil Wings, with the cooperation with NASA, FLexSys and the Air Force Research Laboratory, these wings are designed to change the camber of the wings during flight to alter the aerodynamics and add lift while reducing drag. The idea of the Flexfoil Wings is to replace flaps to a morphing control surface and able to perform large angular deformations for landing and take-off. (Spampinato, 2015) “According to FLexSys, the shape-changing bird-like wing can increase fuel efficiency by up to 12 % as well as reducing the noise on landing and take-off by up to 40% (Spampinato, 2015). This new wing design can drastically change the aviation industry twice fold and eliminate major issues in aircrafts today. Mr. Spampinato further explains because of safety testing and regulation that applying these new technologies takes time before being able to put into new aircraft designs. This article is insightful into the designs and innovations of modern day aircraft. The new innovation of “Flexfoil” is a true testament for the men and women to make aviation more affordable and reliable forms of transportation. To learn about the different materials into wing designs can give valuable information to pilots in learning about their aircraft. This article included unknown terms that I researched which grabbed my interest to research more into the materials used. I would recommend this to someone who doesn’t know much about aviation to help understand the importance of new innovations of aircraft.


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