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Im not sure this falls under Smart materials but is an interesting side note about shape distortion with heat. The SR-71 stealth plane was subject to such high heat at upper ends of its speed range that the planes panels were actually designed with gaps so that it would not crunch its self to bits when it heated up and expanded. Keeping this in mind you can get an idea of how fast you need to travel to generate enough surface heat to deform the metal substantially (im sure its a bit slower for softer metals).  

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Weight is a serious concern as well. Generating heat or substantially cooling a structure at will is no simple task. Such systems would further weigh down an airplane when weight is really the biggest concern in aviation.

Money and well more money is a very real factor in airplane building. FAA type certs are not cheap or easy to come buy and as such commercial aviation tech tends to lag behind what is hot on the market since it takes many years to get an airplane designed, certified and into production. People have been building aluminum airplanes since we had engines powerful enough to make it a reality. Its a light, fairly easy to work with material that has been tried and tested on thousands of airframes flown for millions of hours. We have tooling and shops to make it into what ever we may need. Keep in mind that introducing a new material is not simple. If you would like a current example look at the adoption of carbon fiber which has also been around for some time now and is only just beginning to see use in real commercial aviation on a large scale. Its been used in general aviation for a bit longer since the parts are smaller and a bit simpler to lay up but still more costly than aluminum.

Im not sure this falls under Smart materials but is an interesting side note about shape distortion with heat. The SR-71 stealth plane was subject to such high heat at upper ends of its speed range that the planes panels were actually designed with gaps so that it would not crunch its self to bits when it heated up and expanded. Keeping this in mind you can get an idea of how fast you need to travel to generate enough surface heat to deform the metal substantially (im sure its a bit slower for softer metals).  

Weight is a serious concern as well. Generating heat or substantially cooling a structure at will is no simple task. Such systems would further weigh down an airplane when weight is really the biggest concern in aviation.

Money and well more money is a very real factor in airplane building. FAA type certs are not cheap or easy to come buy and as such commercial aviation tech tends to lag behind what is hot on the market since it takes many years to get an airplane designed, certified and into production. People have been building aluminum airplanes since we had engines powerful enough to make it a reality. Its a light, fairly easy to work with material that has been tried and tested on thousands of airframes flown for millions of hours. We have tooling and shops to make it into what ever we may need. Keep in mind that introducing a new material is not simple. If you would like a current example look at the adoption of carbon fiber which has also been around for some time now and is only just beginning to see use in real commercial aviation on a large scale. Its been used in general aviation for a bit longer since the parts are smaller and a bit simpler to lay up but still more costly than aluminum.

Im not sure this falls under Smart materials but is an interesting side note about shape distortion with heat. The SR-71 stealth plane was subject to such high heat at upper ends of its speed range that the planes panels were actually designed with gaps so that it would not crunch its self to bits when it heated up and expanded. Keeping this in mind you can get an idea of how fast you need to travel to generate enough surface heat to deform the metal substantially (im sure its a bit slower for softer metals).

Back to the topic at hand

Weight is a serious concern as well. Generating heat or substantially cooling a structure at will is no simple task. Such systems would further weigh down an airplane when weight is really the biggest concern in aviation.

Money and well more money is a very real factor in airplane building. FAA type certs are not cheap or easy to come buy and as such commercial aviation tech tends to lag behind what is hot on the market since it takes many years to get an airplane designed, certified and into production. People have been building aluminum airplanes since we had engines powerful enough to make it a reality. Its a light, fairly easy to work with material that has been tried and tested on thousands of airframes flown for millions of hours. We have tooling and shops to make it into what ever we may need. Keep in mind that introducing a new material is not simple. If you would like a current example look at the adoption of carbon fiber which has also been around for some time now and is only just beginning to see use in real commercial aviation on a large scale. Its been used in general aviation for a bit longer since the parts are smaller and a bit simpler to lay up but still more costly than aluminum.

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Im not sure this falls under Smart materials but is an interesting side note about shape distortion with heat. The SR-71 stealth plane was subject to such high heat at upper ends of its speed range that the planes panels were actually designed with gaps so that it would not crunch its self to bits when it heated up and expanded. Keeping this in mind you can get an idea of how fast you need to travel to generate enough surface heat to deform the metal substantially (im sure its a bit slower for softer metals).

Weight is a serious concern as well. Generating heat or substantially cooling a structure at will is no simple task. Such systems would further weigh down an airplane when weight is really the biggest concern in aviation.

Money and well more money is a very real factor in airplane building. FAA type certs are not cheap or easy to come buy and as such commercial aviation tech tends to lag behind what is hot on the market since it takes many years to get an airplane designed, certified and into production. People have been building aluminum airplanes since we had engines powerful enough to make it a reality. Its a light, fairly easy to work with material that has been tried and tested on thousands of airframes flown for millions of hours. We have tooling and shops to make it into what ever we may need. Keep in mind that introducing a new material is not simple. If you would like a current example look at the adoption of carbon fiber which has also been around for some time now and is only just beginning to see use in real commercial aviation on a large scale. Its been used in general aviation for a bit longer since the parts are smaller and a bit simpler to lay up but still more costly than aluminum.