Metals that are used to make airplanes include aluminum, steel and titanium. Aircraft manufacturers choose to build aircraft with these materials because they are strong enough to hold up under the stresses of flight but lightweight enough to allow the aircraft to lift off the ground.
Aluminum is sought after because it is abundant, fairly easy to obtain and very light. It's also strong, resists corrosion and conducts both heat and electricity well. Alloys of aluminum are the primary metals that are used to build airplanes. Aluminum is alloyed with other metals like copper, magnesium and zinc to make it even stronger.
Steel is iron that's alloyed with carbon and other metals to make it stronger and help the iron in the alloy become more resistant to rust.
Titanium is also an abundant metal, but it is hard to access. Still, it is prized because it is at least as strong as steel and much stronger than aluminum. Titanium is lightweight, resists corrosion, is easy to work with and is considered inert, which means that it is not reactive. It is alloyed with metals like aluminum, iron, manganese and molybdenum to make both the frame of the airplane and its engines.Learn More
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The Cessna Skyhawk, a single-engine plane, has a maximum cruising speed of 124 nautical miles per hour, which is just over 140 miles per hour ground speed. A Boeing 747 typically cruises at 567 miles per hour.Full Answer >
Airplanes fly because the design of the wings produces lift that counterbalances the weight of the aircraft. Air flows more rapidly over the top of the wing than underneath it, which reduces the air pressure above the surface. The higher pressure below, exerted over the surface of the wing, pushes the aircraft upwards. Achieving lift requires enough forward speed to keep the air moving fast enough to create this force.Full Answer >
Airplanes use a special type of petroleum-based fuel called aviation fuel. It is made of very high-quality petroleum spirit and contains additives to prevent icing or explosion.Full Answer >