Boeing is calling it “the lightest metallic structure ever made”. Microlattice, a new metallic structure, is composed of  99.99% air. That means the material is so light, it can be balanced on top of a dandelion.

The metal might be light, but it’s also strong. According to Boeing, which has just released the above video explaining the innovation, Microlattice is inspired by human bone structure, which has a solid exterior but is primarily hollow on the inside, held together by a complex set of  hollow tubes. This makes the structure both rigid but also lightweight. The hope is that this will allow Microlattice to be used in the construction of airplanes in the future, bringing down the overall weight of the aircraft and making them more fuel-efficient.

Author: Donald Armbrecht is a freelance writer and social media producer. 

Image: Boeing illustration of Microlattice