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View Poll Results: What is considered a Composite Airframe
All fiberglass frame with wood/carbon formers for both wings and fuse and stabs
77.27%
A balsa covered with fiberglass airframe for both wings an fuse
4.55%
Fiberglass fuse but film covered wings
4.55%
Honey comb built everything
13.64%
Airex/fiberglass with wood/carob formers both wings and fuse
36.36%
Fiberglass fuse with foam wings, possibly covered with fiberglass.
13.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

What is considered a "Composite" air frame?

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Old 02-20-2014, 12:32 PM
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DiscoWings
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Default What is considered a "Composite" air frame?

So, I think this would be a good thread, the word composite is thrown around a lot but it has me wondering, what exactly is considered a composite airframe?

1, All fiberglass frame with wood/carbon formers for both wings and fuse and stabs
2, A balsa covered with fiberglass airframe for both wings an fuse
3, Fiberglass fuse but film covered wings
4, Honey comb built everything
5, Airex/fiberglass with wood/carob formers both wings and fuse
6, Fiberglass fuse with foam wings, possibly covered with fiberglass.

To me I really only consider option 1 and 5 as composite, while the others use different materials I don't think they have the same strength or appeal.

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Old 02-20-2014, 12:50 PM
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ianober
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Whats the difference between 1 and 5, besides slightly different material that is essentially composite? To me, for the purpose of this poll, they are the same.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:59 PM
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"Composite materials are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, that when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components"

So a fiberglass fuselage, sandwhich constructed fuselage/wings, anything of that nature that requires the addition of another material to change its physical properties is considered a composite airframe.

Now, Two, Three and Six are not "composite" airframes IMO, but they utilize composite materials. IMO in order to be considered a composite airframe, the bulk of the airframe must be composite (wings, fuselage, tail, etc)
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ianober View Post
Whats the difference between 1 and 5, besides slightly different material that is essentially composite? To me, for the purpose of this poll, they are the same.
Yes i thought about that too, hence multiple choice poll, but I also know of some purist that said, EWW airex, Fiberglass or nothing...
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:27 PM
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.. probably a very misunderstood term. A building made of concrete and rebar is a composite structure while those made of steel sections are not. Which is stronger and better? They both have different properties, availability of materials and pose different challenges in construction and design.
As for aircraft, technically as soon as you introduce the use of fiberglass and resin(edit: or duct tape, packing tape if so inclined, thanks Jack!) it can be considered composite even if just for sheeting. I think this is where the term "fully composite" came about to help differentiate a full fiberglass fuselage and wing from say something that is glassed balsa. Glider guys will often classify by components, so something like "composite fuselage with obeechi sheeted wings vs fully composite", for example.

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Old 02-20-2014, 04:30 PM
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JackD
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My Habu: foam, duct tape, packing tape, epoxy, microballons and a few pieces of balsa and polyply
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:14 PM
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So would an EPS airframe glass with epoxy resin be composite?
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