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Question: Please could you tell me what metals aircraft are made from? 


Answer: Aircraft need to be made of light-weight materials. To make an airplane body and its parts, a metal needs to be strong and light in weight. Every bit of weight saved in construction means extra payload can be carried, i.e. more luggage and/or passengers - so the company makes more money.

Aluminium is lighter than steel, but on its own it isn't strong enough for using in making airplane parts. Magnesium is even lighter than aluminium, but is not strong enough to be used alone.

Combinations of aluminium, magnesium, and small amounts of copper and manganese make a light but strong alloy called duralumin which is suitable for airplane parts.

Seaplanes use an aluminium alloy called alclad, which is coated with aluminium. Salt water does not affect the aluminium coating. 




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