NASA has established a new group intended to advance the research of new materials that could be used to manufacture aircraft.
The US space agency has teamed up with five other organisations, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and General Electric Aviation, to lead studies into new lightweight composite materials that could be used to improve aircraft performance.
“NASA is committed to transforming aviation through cutting edge research and development,” said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “This partnership will help bring better composite materials into use more quickly, and help maintain American leadership in aviation manufacturing.”
NASA said the project’s goal is to “reduce product development and certification timelines [for new composite materials] by 30%.
Composite materials are already being used in modern aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. They are preferable to standard aluminium as they weigh less, increasing an aircraft’s fuel efficiency, and are more resistant to corrosion.