The Air Force is taking bigger steps in mainstreaming the use of composites in aircraft. Composite structures—typically carbon fiber and a thermoset resin such as epoxy—have been integral to the performance and stealth of such aircraft as the B-2 Spirit bomber, F-22 Predator and the upcoming F-35 Lightning II. Composites engineering also is moving into more mainstream aircraft. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lockheed Martin are in Phase III testing of the X-55A, the Advanced ...

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