Quickstep: The Sky And The Road Are The Limit

The manufacture of aeroplanes is undergoing a revolution. With improved strength-to-weight ratios now imperative in a world of secularly higher oil prices, aircraft manufacturers are rapidly shifting away from aluminium skins and other parts and towards composite plastic materials, just as they once replaced heavier steel components with lighter-weight aluminium.

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Quickstep Hits The Mach

Quickstep Holdings (QHL) is a Perth-based manufacturer of "composite" materials such as fibreglass, Kevlar and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics which are rapidly replacing aluminium in the race to reduce the weight of vehicles and aircraft in the new carbon-wary age. As an example, Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner is constructed using only 20% aluminium, with composites making up the bulk of the balance.

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Quickstep Has The Right Stuff

Last night US President Barack Obama was able to claim a victory as the US Senate voted in favour of the President’s policy to cease funding for the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. The policy was intended to relieve an overstretched fiscal deficit by retiring the high-tech, high-cost, and ridiculously high-maintenance-cost planes. Funding will now be directed to a more conventional, but more practical F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ("Lightning II") once the last F-22s roll off the assembly line. The US defence force is expected to pour US$40bn into buying in excess of 3000 of the new fighters, believed to be the biggest single defence contract in history.

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