Airbus disaster raises fears for aviation's future


By Paul Marks THE cause of flight AF447’s destruction over the Atlantic last week remains unknown, but one factor that the aviation industry will be hoping to rule out is structural failure. If they cannot, they may be forced to rethink the next revolution in aviation: replacement of metal aircraft with those made from lightweight composite materials. The move to carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is the biggest shift in aircraft design since the introduction of all-aluminium pressurised aircraft in the 1950s. It is much lighter than metal,
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