In a recent speech, Virgin Atlantic president Sir Richard Branson raised the prospect of planes being made entirely from graphene within 10 years. Counting on graphene's mechanical strength and light nature, he hopes the aerospace industry could welcome light, durable planes that will cut fuel expenses, among other advantages.
He was quoted saying "hopefully graphene can be the planes of the future. 10 years down the line. They would be massively lighter than the current planes, which again would make a difference on fuel burn." Branson likened the push for graphene planes to urging Airbus and Boeing to make planes from carbon fibre, a battle he won. Boeing's latest 787 Dreamliner planes are made from 50% carbon fibre and other composite materials, as opposed to the traditional 100% aluminium. They use 30% less fuel than their standard alternatives.
In October 2016, Graphene 3D Lab developed a graphene-enabled composite with potential uses in the automotive and aerospace industries. In July 2016, Scientists at Manchester University were working towards developing a new graphene-coated aeroplane.