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Advanced composites have been established as a viable primary structural material for aerospace production applications. Current American military aircraft, such as the F-14, F-15, and F-16, utilize composites for empennage components. Future commercial aircraft will employ composites to reduce weight and thus save fuel. Next-generation military aircraft will markedly extend the applications of composites to provide the higher performance needed to meet mission requirements. Current interest in composites for spacecraft of all types gives promise of a strong growth area. Other areas of high growth potential for composite materials are engine components, missile structures, and helicopters.
composite materials, aircraft, advanced structures, durability, fail safe, hybrids
Manager, Advanced Composites, Grumman Aerospace Corporation, Bethpage, N.Y.