Well, we’ve really got a lot going on here. We just returned from SAMPE 2007, which was held for the first time on the East Coast — in Baltimore. In my conversations with visitors and exhibitors, those who were located east of the Mississippi were thrilled and loved the venue. California-based companies, it seemed to me, weren’t quite so convinced. The new location brought in some new attendee faces, however, and overall, most people I spoke with seemed to be invigorated by the change — then, too, maybe the soft-shell crabs had something to do with it. SAMPE’s executive director Gregg Balko told us that in light of the positive response, the organization has committed to alternating between Long Beach and Baltimore for the foreseeable future. So plan on Baltimore again in 2009. If you weren’t in Baltimore, click on “SAMPE 2007 Baltimore” in “Related Content,” at left.
Speaking of industry events, please mark your calendars for the two upcoming COMPOSITESWORLD conferences this year — High Performance Fibers 2007 and Carbon Fiber 2007. They will take place in November and December, in Washington, D.C., under the guidance of seasoned conference director Scott Stephenson, who joined COMPOSITESWORLD several months ago. Scott and I are lining up an impressive array of presenters for both events — you won’t want to miss them.
The Paris Air Show is underway as I write this. Airbus has kicked it off with a $7 billion dollar order from US Airways for around 30 planes, including a number of A350 XWBs, its better-late-than-never competitor to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. The total orders for both models of the redesigned A350 stands at around 100.
It seems Airbus is sticking to its guns on the fuselage for this, its third A350 concept. Despite much speculation that Airbus would eventually use a “barrel” design similar to that on the 787, in the latest report I saw from Reuters news service, Airbus reiterates that the A350 will be a 60 percent composite aircraft made of composite panels attached to an aluminum and titanium structure.
We’re also in the process of preparing a new entry into the aerospace market: Aerospace Composites – A Design and Applications Guide, the latest in our series of standalone publications that examine how composites are used in key end-use market sectors. There’s still plenty of time to join us as a sponsor — you’ll get terrific exposure and the chance to deliver your company’s message to aerospace manufacturers and OEMs. If you’re interested in being part of this exciting project or have an application you want to share, please give me a call or drop me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After all the aerospace news I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that aerospace is not the only market where advanced composites are making headlines.
Manufacturers in the automotive and wind energy markets, the subjects of our feature article investigations this issue, share a need to achieve extremely high structural performance at reduced weight — a need that could eventually make composites, probably carbon fiber composites, the material of choice.
Have a great summer, and we’ll see you soon at a composites show in your neighborhood.