Re: Alluminum Q2

Mike Perry

Hello Roger:

Sorry to be late with this (I was out of town when you posted) but I sat in on an interesting seminar with Cal Poly engineering students this spring. The Professor asked the students to discuss which material is lighter: Aluminum vs. composites vs. wood. The final answer seems to be: it depends (on exactly what you are building). The Q-2 isn't the lightest possible structure for the same strength but it may be the lightest structure you can build with home tools and finish to an extremely smooth surface.

The other comment from the seminar: saying "composite structure" today is like saying "vegetable"; you need to be more specific and there are many different composite structures.

Mike Perry

Isaksson Roger wrote:

These postings remind me of an old question that I never had a good answer to.
Anyone that knows better, and can do some education here please.
Same aircraft frame, same dimensions and same calculated strengh.
Also assuming we compare the three most common ways of building aircrafts, Aluminum, composite , wood/tube/fabric.
I was told once that the Aluminum is by far the lightest, followed by wood/tube/fabric, and very close afterwards composite as the heaviest.
The world wonders.

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