structure made of glass cloth. Reinforced plastic is
fabricated into a variety of cell sizes.
Composite and Carbon Fiber
High-performance aircraft require an extra high
composite materials satisfies this special requirement.
Composite materials are constructed by using several
layers of bonding materials (graphite epoxy or boron
epoxy). These materials are mechanically fastened to
conventional substructures. Another type of composite
construction consists of thin graphite epoxy skins
bonded to an aluminum honeycomb core. Carbon fiber
is extremely strong, thin fiber made by heating
synthetic fibers, such as rayon, until charred, and then
layering in cross sections.
Materials currently used in aircraft construc-
tion are classified as what type of materials?
What are the most common metallic materials
used in aircraft construction?
What are the nonmetallic materials used in
construction features of the fixed-wing aircraft
and identify the primary, secondary, and
auxiliary flight control surfaces.
The principal structural units of a fixed-wing
aircraft are the fuselage, wings, stabilizers, flight
control surfaces, and landing gear. Figure 4-5 shows
these units of a naval aircraft.
NOTE: The terms left or right used in relation to
any of the structural units refer to the right or left hand
of the pilot seated in the cockpit.
The fuselage is the main structure, or body, of the
aircraft. It provides space for personnel, cargo,
controls, and most of the accessories. The power plant,
wings, stabilizers, and landing gear are attached to it.
Figure 4-5.Principal structural units on an F-14 aircraft.