Analysis of in-flight structural failures of P-3C wing leading edge segments
Lott, Dennis A.
Schmidt, Louis V.
Howard, Richard M.
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A quantitative analysis was carried out to determine the stresses present in the leading-edge segment of a P-3C aircraft operating within and outside the normal operating envelope of the aircraft. The purpose of the analysis was to ascertain whether a specific weakness may exist in the leading-edge structure which might endanger future operating flight crews. A three-step process consisting of a static aeroelastic span-load analysis, an inviscid two-dimensional panel method, and finite-element analysis was employed in the course of the evaluation. Lift-coefficient distributions from the wing span-load analyses were used in the two-dimensional panel method to determine the pressure distribution around the leading edge, which was then used as input to the finite element analysis. Additionally, static aeroelastic-derived wing-twist effects were included in the structural model. The results of the analysis suggest that the leading edge segment studied may experience stress levels sufficient to cause failure within the normal operating envelope.
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