Something big is on the horizon: current orders stand at 1,624 for the next-generation, composites-intensive commercial aircraft, and that's just counting the obvious short list of Airbus A380, A350 XWB and Boeing 787 models. Monolithic structural components—which could reach an estimated 100 plies or up to 2 in. of thickness—will dominate on these aircraft, with total composites content by weight ranging from 25% (A380) and 50% (787) to 53% (A350). More bonded-in, rather than fastened ...

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