The past year has been marked by incredible growth for the composites industry in a wide range of markets. Innovation has been occurring at a rapid pace. Refresh your memory of the past year with our top 10 stories from 2017!
- Architecture: New Apple Store in Dubai Features Composite “Solar Wings:” To mitigate Dubai’s climate, Apple hired London-based architecture firm Foster + Partners to design eighteen 37.5-foot-high motorized “Solar Wings” that respond to the region’s fluctuating environmental conditions.
- Automotive: Tesla Unveils All-Electric Semi-Truck with 500-Mile Range: The carbon fiber prototype boasts a 500-mile electric range, can pull a gross weight of 80,000 pounds, and can go from zero to 60 mph in 20 seconds.
- Aerospace: Boeing Begins Production of 777X Aircraft: Boeing celebrated the official kickoff of production of its 777X wide-body jet. The 777X aircraft is a large-sized twin-engine passenger aircraft currently being developed by Boeing as a successor to the existing 777.
- Aerospace: Boeing Rolls Out First 787-10 Dreamliner for Commercial Use: Boeing rolled out the first 787-10 Dreamliner built for commercial use at its Final Assembly facility in North Charleston, S.C.
- Aerospace: Scaled Composites Completes Test of Stratolaunch, the World’s Largest Composite Aircraft: Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites announced that its Stratolaunch aircraft was towed outside for the first time to begin its ground test phase.
- Automotive: Magna International and Ford Develop Composite Subframe Reducing Weight by 34 Percent: Ford and Magna International developed an award-winning prototype carbon fiber composite subframe that reduces mass by 34 percent compared to making a stamped steel equivalent.
- Military: Thermwood Creates Composite Helicopter Part made with Innovative 3-D Printing Technology: A cooperative effort between Thermwood Corporation, Applied Composite Engineering (ACE), Techmer PM and Purdue University’s Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center has produced a composite helicopter part using a 3-D Printed Polysulfone (PSU) mold.
- Marine: Lexus Debuts Sport Yacht Concept with Carbon Fiber Composites: Lexus says the Sport Yacht concept’s unique CFRP construction saves nearly 2,200 pounds compared to similarly-made yachts with other materials.
- Military: US Navy and ORNL Develop Military’s First 3D-Printed Submarine Hull: Known as the Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator, the hull is inspired by the Navy’s submersible SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV).
- Sports: Bugatti and PG Unveil World’s Lightest Bike: The bike, inspired by Bugatti’s Chiron sports car, weighs just 11 pounds thanks to carbon fiber composites.
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