1996-10-01

Structural Concepts Study of Non-circular Fuselage Configurations 965561

A preliminary study of structural concepts for non-circular fuselage configurations is presented. For an unconventional flying-wing type aircraft, in which the fuselage is inside the wing, multiple fuselage bays with non-circular sections need to be considered. In a conventional circular fuselage section, internal pressure is carried efficiently by a thin skin via hoop tension. If the section is non-circular, internal pressure loads also induce large bending stresses. The structure must also withstand additional bending and compression loads from aerodynamic and gravitational forces. Flat and vaulted shell structural configurations for such an unconventional, non-circular pressurized fuselage of a large flying-wing were studied. A deep honeycomb sandwich-shell and a ribbed double-wall shell construction were considered. Combinations of these structural concepts were analyzed using both analytical and simple finite element models of isolated sections for a comparative conceptual study. Weight, stress, and deflection results were compared to identify a suitable configuration for detailed analyses. The flat sandwich-shell concept was found preferable to the vaulted shell concept due to its superior buckling stiffness. Vaulted double-skin ribbed shell configurations were found to be superior due to their weight savings, load diffusion, and fail-safe features. The vaulted double-skin ribbed shell structure concept was also analyzed for an integrated wing-fuselage finite element model. Additional problem areas such as wing-fuselage junction and pressure-bearing spar were identified.

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