India’s stealth light combat aircraft gets 20% lighter
India’s light combat aircraft, will now be 20% lighter than its original weight using new technology that was developed within the country.
- Put together by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Space Academy, the material takes complex parts and forms them into a single mould.
- Not only is the new carbon fiber lighter, it’s also stronger than the ordinarily used aluminium.
How does it work?
Using an indigenously developed carbon fiber mixed in with an organic resin, the CSIR-NAL can condense complex components like rudders, wing spar and fins into a single mould. Since it’s all in one piece, the number of individual parts is reduced.
And, because there aren’t as many parts to connect, the number of fasteners needed to put them together also goes down. So all-in-all, the time required to assemble the aircraft gets cut down by 30%.
Is it still strong enough?
Crafting parts of the plane from a single mould has more advantages than just saving time on the assembly line. Since structures being built are singular pieces rather than a puzzle being connected together, they’re automatically stronger and more resistant.
More than that though, the underlying material being used is stronger than the traditional aluminium that was being used. While being less susceptible to corrosion, the carbon fibre is also more heat resistant.
The Indian combat vehicle is at the frontlines of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It’s a home-grown aircraft put together by HAL that officially entered the
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