2410. Aircraft Structural Mass Property Prediction Using Conceptual-Level Structural Analysis


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M G Sexstone: 2410. Aircraft Structural Mass Property Prediction Using Conceptual-Level Structural Analysis. 1998.



This paper describes a methodology that extends the use of the Equivalent Laminated Plate Solution (ELAPS) structural analysis code from conceptual-level aircraft structural analysis to conceptual-level aircraft mass property analysis. Mass property analysis in aircraft structures has historically depended upon parametric weight equations at the conceptual design level and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) at the detailed design level. ELAPS allows for the modeling of detailed geometry, metallic and composite materials, and non-structural mass coupled with analytical structural sizing to produce high-fidelity mass property analyses representing fully configured vehicles early in the design process. This capability is especially valuable for unusual configuration and advanced concept development where existing parametric weight equations are not applicable and FEA is too time consuming for conceptual design. This paper contrasts the use of ELAPS relative to empirical weight equations and FEA. ELAPS modeling techniques are described and the ELAPS-based mass properly analysis process is detailed. Examples of mass property stochastic calculations produced during a recent systems study are provided This study involved the analysis of three remotely piloted aircraft required to carry scientific payloads to very high altitudes at subsonic speeds. Due to the extreme nature of this high-altitude flight regime, few existing vehicle designs are available for use in performance and weight prediction. ELAPS was employed within a concurrent engineering analysis process that simultaneously produces aerodynamic, structural, and static aeroelastic results for input to aircraft performance analyses. The ELAPS models produced for each concept were also used to provide stochastic analyses of wing structural mass properties. The results of this effort indicate that ELAPS is an efficient means to conduct multi-disciplinary trade studies at the conceptual design level.


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