The Airbus A380 Super Jumbo is the world's biggest ever passenger plane. Over 60% of it is aluminium. Lightweight, strong aluminium has been central to the worldwide development of the Aerospace industry.
The A380 wings are the largest ever manufactured for a civil airliner, made in North Wales then transported to Toulouse in France for assembly.
The wingspan measurement from tip-to-tip is 78.9 metres. The longest length of aluminium in a single wing is 46 metres. The aluminium sheet and plate for the wings is produced in Birmingham in the UK.
A SYMBOL OF ‘LOVE & CHARITY’
The Aluminium statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus in London was designed by Alfred Gilbert and put in place in 1893. It forms part of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, commemorating the Earl of Shaftesbury. Having a nude public statue in Victorian London shocked some people so it was also called “The Angel of Christian Charity” which was more acceptable. It is cast in an Aluminium alloy containing copper and zinc and was made in 15 parts. Apart from minor refurbishments it stands in good condition after some 120 years of exposure to London’s traffic.
HELPING TO FARM THE FIELDS
The harsh environment of farming is a demanding place for machinery, open to the elements all year around. Efficiency and effectiveness rely on minimum weight and high durability in all mobile tractor and harvester units.
Increasingly designers have been turning to aluminium as the material of choice for mechanical equipment and attachments. The corrosion resistant, lightweight aluminium mechanisms offer low maintenance with rigidity. The extruded aluminium frame of spraying units and cast aluminium seed planting press wheels are among the many farming applications.
BEAUTY IN ALUMINIUM
This aluminium casting was produced in Paris in 1859 at the works of Paul Morin. It is a one third replica of a full size Greek marble statue in the Louvre. The casting was made using the lost wax process with aluminium made by the sodium process. It is believed to be the oldest aluminium casting in existence and it is incredible that such an early piece is of such breath-taking quality. The casting is now on permanent display at the Science Museum in London by permission of The Aluminium Federation.
GUITARS FOR THE STARS
From 1974 to 1979 Travis Bean made electric guitars with necks fashioned out of aluminium. These guitars had an ability to sustain notes and a richness of tone that some likened to that of a piano or harp.
Rock stars who used these aluminium necked instruments included Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead), Keith Richards and Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones), Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and Roger Fisher (Heart). The 1978 sales brochure also listed as devotees; Beach Boys, Earth Wind & Fire, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Jefferson Starship.
The guitars sold in the 1970’s for $US1000. In 2007 a cream-coloured Travis Bean electric guitar once owned by Jerry Garcia sold at auction for $US312,000.