Innovation: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Everybody knows the game of rock, paper, scissors.

Airbus seems to know the game, too. The aircraft consortium has been playing it with the choice of materials for its A350. Originally, Airbus was planning to build a conventional metal model. Then the news of Boeing’s planned 787 Dreamliner caused Airbus to change course with a skeleton of aluminum married to a skin of composites.

But, with the rollout of the Dreamliner planned for 2008, it’s clear that carbon beats aluminum when it comes to planes. In recognizing the inevitable, Airbus now says it will build its latest A350 version from advanced composite materials instead of a metal/carbon mix.

But Boeing will be the first on the block with an all-carbon plane.

Speaking for myself, I can wait to see how composites fly.

Airline Futurist • Miami • www.amadeus.comRB