Airbus develops aircraft built by artificial spider silk

Airbus spider silkThe European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the German manufacturer of synthetic biopolymers will develop a new material based on artificial spider silk that will make planes lighter.

Since the artificial spider silk easily bends and does not lose its strength, it can be used to strengthen the wing and protect the aircraft fuselage. The new material will make the aircraft lighter, which means it will reduce fuel consumption. Experiments with the first trial batch of material will last until 2019.

The material will be based on the existing artificial spider silk, which is already used in cosmetics and medicine (for example, as a surgical thread), and recently it has been made of super lightweight sneakers.

The production of artificial spider silk was established when scientists deciphered the DNA of spiders and isolated the genes responsible for the production of spider spider silk. These genes are “planted” in the DNA of bacteria, and now microorganisms produce special proteins that are structurally similar to spider silk. The source of the artificial spider silk that bacteria produce is a powder that can then be transformed into a gel, fibers or film.