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History of Composites in Aeronautics

  1. Raymond J. Palmer

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc107

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Palmer, R. J. 2012. History of Composites in Aeronautics. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–40.

Author Information

  1. Boeing Company (Retired)

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012


Composite material applications for aeronautics have increased from a laboratory curiosity in 1970 to a full-scale useful production ready position in the past 40 years. Advanced high modulus composites developed when man-made fibers of high strength and stiffness became available. A discussion on the history of the development of fiberglass, Kevlar, boron, and carbon fibers is presented. A representative survey of application and use of composites in military, commercial, business and regional aircraft, and helicopters includes a discussion on the growth of composites in each group and suggestions on the future aircraft performance and composite applications. The survey discusses the operating features and the use and amount of composites on individual aircraft. The conclusion gives projected plans for the future of the industry.


  • aircraft;
  • composites;
  • application;
  • fiberglass;
  • boron;
  • carbon;
  • Kevlar;
  • fighters;
  • commercial;
  • business planes;
  • regional aircraft;
  • helicopters