Sir Richard Branson has raised the prospect of planes being made entirely from the so-called wonder material graphene within 10 years, as the airline industry battles a 50pc increase in fuel in the last 12 months, sparking a desperate need for ever lighter fleets.
The Virgin Atlantic president, who founded the airline in 1984, described the super-lightweight material as a ‘breakthrough technology’, which he said could help revolutionise the airline industry and transform its cost base.
It’s wonderful stuff, no doubt about it. But it’ll not be making airplanes in a decade’s time.
For the simple reason that the testing process for a new airplane alloy is more than 10 years.