1331. Implementing Aircraft Structural Life Management to Reduce Structural Cost of Ownership


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T D Gray, D J White: 1331. Implementing Aircraft Structural Life Management to Reduce Structural Cost of Ownership. 1980.



Aircraft Structural Life Management (SLM) is an integrated process of load spectra definition, life prediction, service monitoring and structural maintenance planning, which allows maximum economic utilization of structural life without compromising fleet safety. Recent Air Force and Navy programs have graphically demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of SLM programs applied after the fact to individual critical structural locations. An even greater potential exists for decreased structural cost of ownership by including SLM as a prime consideration early in the design process.
This paper details the individual elements of SLM, such as philosophy, implementation plan, load spectra development, structural life prediction _methodology, material selection criteria, related testing, and structural monitoring. Requirements are specified for integrating the individual SLM elements into airframe design, development, qualification, and monitoring tasks. Examples are given of the implementation of structural life management principles in military aircraft systems during and after the design process. Returns on investment are presented for specific examples showing how the application of structural life management to critical structure significantly reduced structural cost of ownership.


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