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Fiberglass takes flight.

Strong, lightweight fiberglass materials take off in U.S. Federal Aviation Administration-certified, do-it-yourself kit airplanes, designed by Velocity Aircraft. The four-passenger Velocity airplanes are constructed entirely of premolded, epoxy-primed resin, bonded with fiberglass cloth, gun roving, and multidirectional high-strength knitted glass materials, all from PPG Industries.

All structural and lift parts consist of an outer and inner skin of fiberglass reinforced plastics (FGRP) enclosing a foam and balsa core. This includes parts such as the fuse-lage, canard-style small forward wing, main wing, landing gear, and other exterior fairings.

Compressive and tensile properties of FGRP are developed to their fullest with composite construction, according to the company. As a result, the airplane weighs 500 to 800 lbs less than similar aircraft built to withstand +12 to -9 G-loads. Corrosion resistance is another benefit of using fiberglass throughout the aircraft.

Fiberglass materials, which won't rust or fatigue, and last three times longer than metal, are seen as a possible future replacement for structural metals in new high speed trains and in many automotive and truck applications. PPG Industries, 32 West, One PPG Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15272; (412) 434-2892. Circle 167. Or Velocity Aircraft, 200 West Airport Dr., Sebastian, FL 32958; (407) 589-1860. Circle 168.
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Title Annotation:fiberglass materials in airplanes
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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