Conventional commercial aircraft fuselages use all-aluminium semi-monocoque structures where the skin carries the external loads, the internal fuselage pressurisation and is strengthen using frames and stringers. Environmental and economic issues force aircraft designers to minimise weight and costs to keep air transport competitive and safe. But as metal designs have reached a high degree of perfection, extraordinary weight and cost savings are unlikely in the future. Carbon composite materials combined with lattice structures and the use of topology optimisation have the potential to offer such weight reductions. The EU FP7 project Advanced Lattice Structures for Composite Airframes (ALaSCA) was started to investigate this. This article presents some of this research which has now led to the development of a new airframe concept which consists of: a load carrying inner skin; transverse frames; CFRP-metal hybrid stiffeners helically arranged in a grid configuration; insulating foam and an additional aerodynamic outer skin.