Here’s Why Airplanes Are So Similar To Those Built Over Half A Century Ago

The once iconic Pan Am had bars and lounges on its planes for passengers to enjoy. Its passengers flew in comfort. Now, travelers have a hard time finding comfort on an airline unless it’s in first class. Airlines have reduced the amount of legroom in favor of squeezing in more seating to cram more passengers on a flight. The majority of airline companies flying today focus their investment on the overall weight of the plane rather than interior design. Planes have always needed to be made out of something light in order to get off the ground, but metal quickly became a requirement to withstand the speeds of jet-powered flights. Aluminum and titanium were the metals of choice for some time. However, now metal is taking a back seat to carbon fiber-reinforced plastic composites.

Composites might be more expensive than pure metal, but they’re also lighter than aluminum and don’t corrode. Aerospace companies like Boeing are looking at polymers and ceramics to include in the construction of airplanes, which are lighter and just as strong as metal and composites. In a world where sustainability and green energy are a priority, lighter materials are helpful because they improve a plane’s fuel efficiency. On top of that, airlines have been spending large sums of money on outfitting their planes with lean-burn engines, saving money on fuel, which is an airline’s number one expenditure.

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