Few weeks ago I was talking to a stress engineer from Eurocopter Spain about the different activities they performed. He was looking forward to the future work in relation to the latest EC 175, a helicopter built in cooperation with China for civilian and parapublic markets, mainly to support oil and gas exploration and search and rescue missions.
“At last we’re back to metal structures…”
He mentioned this in relation to apparent problems given by composites ones in their use in helicopters. This reminded me of a teacher (at engineering school) and former (very senior) colleague at Airbus Military, who was never seduced by the massive application of composites and he always called for their introduction following his mantra:
“Technology (in the context of application of science), is the most powerful means to increase the effectiveness-to-cost ratio.”
Which not always calls for the use of the latest technology available.
So much for the hype of composites…