By Lance Winslow
Every pilot knows that the most important part of any flight is the pre-flight inspection. If you are going to cruise at high speeds thousands of feet in the air you want to make sure that your aircraft is indeed airworthy and will not fall apart. If it does, you cannot simply pull over and call AAA and it is a long way down.
It is hard to inspect all parts of the aircraft, for instance the engine compartment, as it is covered up the cowling, it would be wise to make the aircraft cowlings out of transparent Carbon Nano Tube construction. There are endless applications for carbon nano tubes due to their strength and abilities to conduct electricity. In fact due to their lightweight, strength, transparency and ability to hold a charge the uses are truly endless indeed. One excellent use for transparent carbon nano tubes would be to make aircraft wings, windscreens and cowlings out of them for easy inspection and insurance that the engine is in good shape, no oil leaks, cracked manifolds or motor mount bolts lose or broken. It would be nice too if the valve covers were made out of carbon nano tube construction also.
If transparent valve covers were used there would be engines showing longer life and better lubrication equates to less friction, which means better fuel mileage. Since valve covers are already on every reciprocating aircraft engine, it would be easy to replace all those valve covers with carbon nano tube covers to increase longevity of the motor, insure proper lubrication and increase performance and fuel economy. This also means less pollution in our air for all the Global Warming Alarmists out there.
If windscreens were made out of carbon nano tubes, bird strikes on the canopy or windshield would be irrelevant, as it is much stronger than Plexiglas and not brittle like regular glass, but equally as transparent.
If wings were made out of carbon nano tubes you could insure the structural integrity of the wings and save thousands of dollars on Annual Inspections and improve visibility from high-wing, low-wing type midair collisions of private aircraft. Definite safety prevention issues.
In the future carbon nano tube construction will be easy and all light aircraft will have some nano tube parts. Additionally those who did not want transparency in their aircraft in certain parts could opt for opaque parts, which when hit with a certain frequency from an airframe inspection A & P mechanic or AI to sign it off; would set the machine to make it transparent for them to have a look see without charging you to take them off and re-install simply to check and see if everything is okay. Transparent carbon nano tubes for aircraft parts will be commonplace by 2028, bet me! Composite is great, but the combination will be even greater. Think on this.
By Lance Winslow