New alloy for faster jet fighters

A new high-strength aluminum alloy being developed by American researchers could make jet aircraft fly farther and faster.

The new alloy is being developed for use in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which will become the primary fighter for the U.S. military.

Researchers at Ames Laboratory's Materials Preparation Center will produce about 400 pounds of an aluminum-yttrium-nickel alloy over the next few months as a benchmark for testing.

The material is being developed in conjunction with aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to replace heavier or costlier components in the "cool" sections of jet engines. The material also could be used in other parts of an aircraft such as wing spars.

If the new material performs up to expectations, researchers say it could have a dramatic impact on the performance and efficiency of both commercial and military aircraft. Engineers estimated that replacing various components in one particular jet engine with the Al-Y-Ni alloy could potentially lighten the engine by 350 pounds, UPI reports.


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