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Structural Maintenance of Ageing Aircraft


BE95-1053 Structural Maintenance of Ageing Aircraft - SMAAC
Aircraft manufacturers as well as airlines and maintenance suppliers are facing the fact that the age of the fleets in the civil transport aircraft business are increasing dramatically. This is also true for airplanes manufactured in Europe. In order to maintain the high safety standard of today's aircraft during higher service life times, considerable inspection and repair actions have to be accomplished. There are different "typical" ageing aircraft phenomena, particularly multiple site damage (MSD) and multiple element damage (MED), which are not covered by the standard fatigue and damage tolerance approach. Other phenomena like corrosion may even add to or enforce these problems. The durability of aircraft structures containing MSD and/or MED will be reduced unless corrective actions are taken at an early stage. In extreme cases, such as occurred in the "Aloha" incident, the structural integrity of the aircraft could be compromised by the presence of MSD and MED.
In order to provide reliable time of inspection and of embodiment of preventive repairs for existing aircraft as well as better long term durability for future aircraft, the following main research tasks are conducted:

- Theoretical and experimental investigations to derive engineering models for the assessment of the initiation of MSD, growth of MSD and residual strength of structures in the presence of MSD or MED.

- Usage of both in-service and experimental/theoretical examinations for the assessment of deteriorating effects, which may increase the ageing aircraft effects in certain areas of the fuselage or wing structures.
The methods developed above may also be used for the assessment of the fatigue and damage tolerance behaviour of old repairs.

Call for proposal

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Daimler-Benz Aerospace Airbus GmbH
EU contribution
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21111 Hamburg

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Participants (12)