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Structural Integrity and Aircraft Repairs

"Besides its fundamental significance in aeronautics, Aerodynamics plays an important role in different technical disciplines."

Prof. Dr. Leonardo Manfriani, Team Leader Aerodynamics

Field of Expertise

Structural integrity plays a particularly important role in the implementation of modern manufacturing processes and in the use of hybrid structures. It significantly influences the design of new aircraft, as the structural integrity must be ensured over the entire service life of the aircraft. The aerodynamics team has expertise in aerodynamic analysis, design, measurement and testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), flight test techniques and certification of aircraft for flight performance and flight characteristics.

Within the scope of projects, which are often combined with Bachelor or MSE Master theses, the following topics are dealt with in depth:

  • Development of maintenance and inspection concepts to ensure structural integrity
  • Load calculations for fatigue load cases and fluid structure couplings
  • Analysis of cracks from operational damage, development of additional inspections and repairs
  • Execution of Structural Risk Assessments to achieve the economic service life
  • Analysis of structural integrity (identification of fracture and maintenance critical parts)
  • Structural Risk Assessment / Development of Supplemental Structural Inspection Document for Ageing Airplanes
  • Fatigue Analysis of the Hawker Hunter’s MK58/68 Leading Edge Spigot Structure
  • Analysis of the structural integrity of the Venom DH112 in civilian use
  • Development of an inspection concept for the vampire DH110 and DH115 for civil use

Various methods and procedures are used, such as:

  • Load calculations with tools like FLOW5, ANSYS CFX or FLUENT
  • Structural analysis using FEM
  • Crack initiation calculations using CITime
  • Crack growth calculations using AFGROW

There is also an intensive cooperation with the Flieger- und Fahrzeugmuseum Altenrhein (FFA Museum - Fliegermuseum Fahrzeugmuseum Altenrhein) and the Jet Prop Heritage in Altenrhein to ensure the structural integrity of the former Swiss Air Force jets.


Laboratory Equipment

Project Examples