Analysis and Design of Composite and Metallic Flight Vehicle Structures

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Tags   Analysis     Composite     Design     Metallic     textbook  

This is our free engineering textbook. This book is made available, without charge, to all. This book references only free public domain sources that are linked from the text and hosted by Abbott Aerospace. This book links to free spreadsheet methods for all analysis methods in the book, also hosted by Abbott Aerospace.

Latest Version - Second Edition - Now Available.

You are free to download, copy and share this book and all the linked documents and spreadsheets without limitation.

We ask that if you use a method out of this book that you cite: Abbott, Richard. Analysis and Design of Composite and Metallic Flight Vehicle Structures 2nd Edition, 2017

The Second Edition is registered with the British Library and has the ISBN Number: 978-1-5262-0679-4

Note that the first edition is still made available above. This is made available for reference only.

Excerpts from the Introduction to the Book:

This document is intended to provide general structures engineering guidance for the development of metallic and fiber composite aircraft parts.

This book is not an academic textbook and does not show the mathematical theory behind the methods. There are many fine books that provide that information. This book is a collection of practical stress analysis methods and tools; the aim is to give useful numerical methods for basic sizing that will give an engineer the means to carry out an analysis with confidence.

All methods in this document have been either cited from public domain sources or derived from first principles. Every effort has been made to cite sources and the reader is encouraged to use the links to examine the sources for a broader understanding of the particular method

This document is generally applicable to part 23 and part 25 primary and secondary structures. However, there are varying airworthiness standards and interpretation of standards across different jurisdictions and consultation with the relevant local certification agency is essential.

If you find any errors or would like to comment in any way you can leave a message at

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List of Chapters:

1. Scope
1.1. Applicability
1.2. Note to the Reader
1.3. How to Help
1.4. A Note on the Analysis Spreadsheets
1.5. Note on Document Links
1.6. Updates to this Book
1.7. Acknowledgements
2. References
3. Introduction
3.1. General Approach
3.2. Stress Analysis
4. Materials
4.1. Composite Materials
4.2. Metallic Materials
5. Loads
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Aircraft External Loads
5.3. Internal Load Distribution
6. Section Properties
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Reserved
6.3. Reserved
7. Stiffness
7.1. Introduction
7.2. General Terms
7.3. Axial or Direct Load Stiffness
7.4. Fastener Shear Stiffness
7.5. Torsion Stiffness
8. Beam Analysis
8.1. Introduction
8.2. Shear and Bending Moment Diagrams
8.3. Cantilevers
8.4. Single Span Beams
8.5. Multi-span Beams
8.6. Curved Beams
8.7. Other Bending Analyses
9. Torsion
9.1. Introduction
9.2. Reserved
9.3. Reserved
10. Plate Strength Analysis
10.1. Introduction
10.2. Isotropic Plates
10.3. Composite Plates
11. Pressure Vessels
11.1. Introduction
11.2. Reserved
11.3. Reserved
12. Joints
12.1. Adhesive Joints
12.2. Mechanically Fastened Joints
12.3. General Treatment of Contact Stresses
12.4. Strength of Brazed Joints
12.5. Strength of Welded Joints
13. Combined Stresses
13.1. Introduction
13.2. Reserved
13.3. Reserved
14. Ultimate Strength of Metallic Elements
14.1. Introduction
15. Local Stability – Isotropic Materials
15.1. Introduction
15.2. General Buckling Expression
15.3. Column Buckling
15.4. Buckling – Specific Cases
15.5. Crippling
16. Local Stability – Composite Materials
16.1. Introduction
16.2. Buckling of Laminates
17. Reserved
18. Reserved
19. Finite Element Modelling
20. Nomenclature
21. Numerical Methods
21.1. Common Equations
21.2. Unit Conversion
21.3. Quadrilateral Analysis
21.4. Intersection of Two Circles
21.5. Intersection of a line and a Circle
21.6. Curve Fits
22. Aircraft Specific Design Features and Methods
22.1. Introduction
22.2. 06 Dimensions and Areas
22.3. 07 Lifting and Shoring
22.4. 08 Levelling and Weighing
22.5. 09 Towing and Taxiing
22.6. 25 Equipment and Furnishings (Interiors)
22.7. 27 Flight Controls
22.8. 28 Fuel
22.9. 29 Hydraulic Power
22.10. 32 Landing Gear
22.11. 52 Doors
22.12. 53 Fuselage
22.13. 55 Stabilizers
22.14. 56 Windows
22.15. 57 Wings
22.16. 71 Powerplant
23. Fixed Wing Aircraft Performance
24. Other Aircraft Types: Design and Analysis
25. Certification
26. Microsoft Excel as a Report Writing Tool

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2 Comments on "Analysis and Design of Composite and Metallic Flight Vehicle Structures"

  • Thanks Richard, like Andrew l am an advocate of your data/files and encourage others to utilise this book and associated spreadsheets. Given some time and support from you (your team!) and the stress/structures community, this may well develop into a viable substitute to the text from the patron saint of stress engineers Elmer Bruhn. I echo Andrew’s comments – well done.
    John Wighton

  • Well done Richard (and team???) – you got there a LOT more quickly than I ever expected!
    I will be sure to pass around the information that this new resource exists amongst my community of structural engineer, this is a well overdue update to pre-existing reference material.
    Again, congratulations!
    Andrew Butcher (AB)

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

FREE ANALYSIS SPREADSHEETS 3 Over the last 10 years we have developed hundreds of spreadsheet tools to help us with our structural analysis work. We have made these available through the Abbott Aerospace web site and the XL Viking project. We have now brought them into the technical library. They have been updated, improved and the collection has been expanded to cover more analysis methods than ever before.

The XL-Viking Add-In for Excel

XL-Viking 2 We created the XL-Viking Excel add-in to satisfy our own need to make Excel a better engineering tool. XL-Viking shows your Excel Formula in a way that makes sense and brings essential new functionality to Microsoft Excel by providing an additional user interface and easy to use functions.

The Indispensable Tool For Engineers, Mathematicians, Scientists, Accountants and Teaching Professionals!


Technical Papers & Reports

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Market Analysis and Market Information

Our newest addition to the library is an on-going series of articles on the aircraft and aerospace market. These are part quantitative and part qualitative and introduce a new aspect to the competencies within Abbott Aerospace.