Thursday, March 11, 2010

Airplane Bomb Protection: Composite Materials

Photo Credit: Dave Sizer via flicker

The recent Christmas day "Underwear Bomber" failed, but what if he was successful? The folks at the Discovery Channel and the BBC put this to the test, setting off a similar explosive in a retired airframe. (You can watch the preview here.)

Not only would the airframe survive, but it is thought that a next-generation aircraft built with composite materials such as the 787 Dreamliner would do better:
"The BBC also used a decommissioned Boeing 747 and not a newer Airbus A330 for the test. An actual test would be necessary to prove this, but Wyatt and Joseph think that the newer plane, which was made with lighter and stronger composite materials instead of aluminum, would have performed even better.
The newest commercial passenger jet, the Boeing 747 or Dreamliner, which has even more composite materials, would likely perform even better, said Wyatt, although he doesn't know for sure."
Related Articles:
Composite Material: Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Composite Materials Composite Material Blog: Boeing, Dreamliner, and Composites

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