Title: Structural integrity : yesterday - today - tomorrow
Authors : Guillaume, Michel
Publisher / Ed. Institution : MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, AeroAstro
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Boston
Issue Date: 9-Oct-2013
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 620: Engineering
Abstract: Early airplanes were designed using purely static conditions and mainly tested only based on simple wing tests. But despite the significant advances in design, manufacturing and testing capabilities, structural failures may still occur. Thus, new concepts are required to ensure safe operations over the lifetime of an airframe. To this end, the International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue and Structural Integrity (ICAF) was established in 1951 in response to growing concerns over fatigue issues in metal aircraft structures. A conference and symposium are organized biannually by one of the 14 member states to foster contacts among the scientific community engaged in aircraft structural integrity. In 1958 Juerg Branger developed a concept for a fatigue simulator at the Federal Swiss Aircraft Factory (F+W). The Pilatus P3 trainer became the first airplane to be tested in Emmen, Switzerland to demonstrate the safety of the airframe over a lifetime of 2’500 FH. This first test demonstrated the importance of full-scale fatigue tests to ensure the structural integrity of the airframe. As a result of the tests, a redesign of the spar was undertaken on the entire fleet of the Swiss Air Force. Due to the intense usage of the fighters deployed by the Swiss Air Force, further full-scale fatigue tests were undertaken on the Venom, the Mirage III, and also on the F/A-18. All tests yielded some unusual and unexpected results, despite the significant advances achieved in fatigue prediction technologies. As the complexity of the materials used in modern aircraft design increases, such as titanium and composites, more and more analysis is being taken over by highly sophisticated software and test procedures. Furthermore, composite structures necessitate test criteria that are very different to those used for metals; while hybrid structures are even more complex. The wing rib problems experienced by the Airbus 380 clearly demonstrate the challenges of modern structures in fatigue certification. Even more advanced structures, such as the ones used on the Boeing 787 and the Airbus 350, will provide further challenges and insights. Future tests for structural integrity will have to include more operational impacts such as ground handling incidents and environmental influences. Structural integrity is still an important means to ensure safe operations in aviation for all types of airplanes, including unmanned air vehicles.
Departement: School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Centre for Aviation (ZAV)
Publication type: Lecture
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/8859
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Engineering

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