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Titanium and Military aircraft

Oct 26, 2018

  • Titanium has been used in aircraft for nearly 60 years now, especially in military aircraft. Forty-two percent of the structural weight of the Lockheed Martin F22 Raptor, which entered service in the US at the end of 2005, consists of titanium. And even back in the ‘60s, some 93 percent of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird’s structural weight consisted of titanium alloys. It is also used in the Lockheed Martin JSF (accounting for around a third of the aircraft by weight), and in the Airbus A350 and A380 commercial airliners.

  • The importance of titanium in the aerospace industry cannot be overstated. According to the latest figures from the US Geological Survey, in 2012, some 72 percent of titanium metal consumed in the US was used in aerospace applications, with the remaining 28 percent being used in “armor, chemical processing, marine, medical, power generation, sporting goods, and other nonaerospace applications.”

  • Globally, as the English metal research house Roskill Information Services says in an overview of its forthcoming report on the metal (“Titanium Metal: Market Outlook to 2018”), with the increased use of composites, particularly carbon-compatible reinforced polymers (CFRP) in the manufacture of large passenger aircraft: “titanium’s position as a key material in the aerospace industry is assured and growing.”


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