Design, analysis and optimization of thin walled semi-monocoque wing structures using different structural idealization in the preliminary design phase

Odeh Dababneh*, Altan Kayran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)



In modeling an aircraft wing, structural idealizations are often employed in hand calculations to simplify the structural analysis. In real applications of structural design, analysis and optimization, finite element methods are used because of the complexity of the geometry, combined and complex loading conditions. The purpose of this paper is to give a comprehensive study on the effect of using different structural idealizations on the design, analysis and optimization of thin walled semi-monocoque wing structures in the preliminary design phase.


In the design part of the paper, wing structures are designed by employing two different structural idealizations that are typically used in the preliminary design phase. In the structural analysis part, finite element analysis of one of the designed wing configurations is performed using six different one and two dimensional finite element pairs which are typically used to model the sub-elements of semi-monocoque wing structures. Finally in the optimization part, wing structure is optimized for minimum weight by using finite element models which have the same six different finite element pairs used in the analysis phase.


Based on the results presented in the paper, it is concluded that with the simplified methods, preliminary sizing of the wing configurations can be performed with enough confidence as long as the simplified method based designs are also optimized iteratively, which is what is practiced in the design phase of this study.


This research aims at investigating the effect of using different one and two dimensional element pairs on the final analyzed and optimized configurations of the wing structure, and conclusions are inferred with regard to the sensitivity of the optimized wing configurations with respect to the choice of different element types in the finite element model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-226
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Integrity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2014



  • Aerospace structural design
  • Finite element analysis
  • Structural optimization
  • Wing torque box

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