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Development of the Aircraft In-Flight Structural Loads Computer Software
Executive Summary

Every commercial or military fixed-wing aircraft manufacturer has to pass its structural design through a minimum acceptable means of compliance as stated in aviation regulations. The commercial aircraft industry, both large and light aircraft manufacturers, has to comply with both American Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) CS standards. In these aviation standards the subpart C defines all those sets of in-flight and ground loads conditions through which the aircraft structural design should withstand during the service. These defined loading conditions are very extensive in nature as these are defined at every flight condition (i.e. different altitudes and airspeeds, maneuvers, landing conditions, flaps extended or extracted, atmospheric turbulence or gust, and etc.) that an aircraft can face during its operation. Due to the extensive nature of the loading conditions what to talk of light or large aircraft a simple home-built very light aircraft structural design may have to pass through more than 3000 load cases. The loads calculation requires automated standard computer software that should simulate all these loading conditions as prescribed in the aviation standards. Otherwise loads calculation through manual means is a hectic task and prone to serious errors.

The development of the aircraft loads software is the need of the time that should cater the aviation regulations requirements and as well as the various features that are considered to be the core of the aero-structural design of the aircraft. This proposal describes the development of the in-flight structural loads computer software, which, apart from the structural loads, would actually solve a fully integrated aeroservoelastic (ASE) system. ASE contains the unsteady aerodynamics solver to compute the air loads on the aircraft, the structural dynamics solver to compute the vibration characteristics of the aircraft structure and lastly the flight dynamics with controls solver to compute the rigid-body dynamics of the aircraft. To model the equations of motion belonging to aerodynamics, structural dynamics and flight dynamics and integrating them into a single software system that solves the in-flight structural loads is a challenging task. However, the loads software development project would open a new era in the general aviation industry by giving a state of the art solution in the field of aircraft loads and dynamics. The commercial version of the software would provide a comprehensive package at an affordable price, addressing all in-flight load cases as prescribed by general aviation regulations.