Boeing’s Technology Transfer impacts Sports Safety

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Washington Redskins Pierre Garcon

The Boeing Company is responsible for a lot of innovative application of their research and development. One of those beneficiaries is the world of sport.

Many years ago, the company which manufactures the rowing shells for the University of Washington recognized that the physics of water passing over the surface of one of its boats were the same as air passing over an airplane’s hull. A link was established and there were useful transfers from Boeing to Popcock Racing Shells about material technology, the surface of hulls and other improvements to their products.

Today, Boeing is sharing its knowledge of carbon fiber with Russell Athletics and their new CarbonTek football shoulder pads. The cleverly named exoskeleton shoulder pads are composed of the same stuff which goes into the B-787 structure. This new football equipment is thinner, stronger and approximately 10 percent lighter than other brands.

Pierre Garcon and Colt McCoy of the Redskins as well as Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints are among the first athletes outfitted with this Boeing-inspired safety equipment.

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