Conceptual design of future aircraft structures incorporating dynamic loading

Stephen Colbert, Damian Quinn, Declan Nolan, Rob Fox, James O'Doherty-Jennings

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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The aviation industry’s progression toward unconventional, highly-integrated aircraft configurations, which are likely to experience dissimilar loading to conventional Tube-And-Wing aircraft, challenges the capabilities of existing conceptual design methodologies. The structural design process is driven by inertial loading resulting from static, quasi-static and transient load events which define performance requirements for aircraft structures. The impact of aero-elastic responses to dynamic load events on the structural design of the aircraft is poorly understood for unconventional airframe-propulsion system configurations. Modelling and analysis strategies which directly resolve dynamic loads early in the design process at a whole aircraft level facilitate investigation of the impact of dynamic loading on structural performance requirements, permitting rapid investigation of interdependencies and interactions which may exist between the aircraft and propulsion system. This paper details development of a flexible modelling and analysis framework, which leverages existing aero-elastic analysis and optimisation capability in commercially available software, for application during conceptual design. The framework is intended to be sufficiently generic to permit application to a range of aircraft configurations proposed for the 2050 timeframe. Dynamic analyses are incorporated in an optimization loop via generation of equivalent static loads (which capture applied aerodynamic and internal structural loads) through a proprietary python tool. A reference Tube-And-Wing aircraft for which significant public domain data exists (Boeing 777-200LR) is used to validate and benchmark framework performance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2020
Event7th Aircraft Structural Design Conference - University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 07 Oct 202009 Oct 2020


Conference7th Aircraft Structural Design Conference


  • Aerospace
  • Structures
  • Optimisation
  • Conceptual Design
  • Sizing


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