Advaero Helicopter Shafts - the carbon composite is lighter, stronger, more durable, does not corrode and costs less than the aluminum part (left)
When the Wright Brothers first took to the skies more than hundred years ago they did so with an aircraft made with a fabric skin. Over the years a variety of materials have been used including sheet metals such as aluminum and titanium, and even ceramics. A fabric of sorts has now returned in the form of carbon fiber, a composite material that offers greater strength-to-weight ratio than virtually anything else. While airplane manufacturers have used carbon fiber in airplanes for some time, its use is on the rise due to the material's durability and rigidity ... and with the advent of new manufacturing processes such as Advaero's Heat Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Method (HVARTM), this looks set to continue.