Boeing Frontiers
November 2002 
Volume 01, Issue 07 
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools

The boom of a Boeing KC-135R tanker looms large over the cockpit of an F-16D fighterGOT A LIGHT?
Aerogel is the lightest solid material known — only three times the density of air — and has tremendous insulating capability. This photo demonstrates how a thin layer of Aerogel can protect matches from the extreme heat of a torch. A block of Aerogel the size of a person weighs less than a pound but is able to support the weight of a half-ton subcompact car. The first aerogels were prepared in 1931 but largely forgotten until the late 1970s, when scientists investigated new applications for space. Aerogel's extraordinary insulating capabilities are some of their most-studied features.



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