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Structural design process and subsequent flight mechanical evaluation in preliminary aircraft design: demonstrated on passenger ride comfort assessment

Krishnamurthy, Vikram; Handojo, Vega

New fuel-efficient aircraft designs have high aspect ratio wings. Consequently, those aircraft are more flexible. Additionally, load alleviation functions are implemented to reduce the structural loads, which results in further reductions of the structural stiffness. At the same time, the structural design impacts other disciplines in preliminary aircraft design, especially flight mechanics. For example, it is important to know how at that design stage such flexible aircraft with load alleviation affect passenger ride comfort in turbulent flight. For an efficient design process, it is essential to answer such questions with accurate multi-disciplinary tools and methods as early as possible to minimize development risk and avoid costly and time-consuming redesign loops. Current available tools and methods are not accurate enough for this task. To address this issue, the DLR MONA based design and the TUB flight mechanical assessment tool MITRA are linked to investigate the impact of the structural design on specific flight mechanical assessments such as passenger ride comfort. This is particularly interesting since the implemented load alleviation functions are designed to reduce loads, and not explicitly to improve passenger ride comfort. By conducting this assessment for a particular aircraft configuration, more insight into passenger ride comfort and the key contributors can be gained during preliminary design. This paper describes the combined toolchain and its application on a generic long-range reference aircraft to investigate the effects of load alleviation functions on passenger ride comfort and discusses the results.
Published in: CEAS Aeronautical Journal, 10.1007/s13272-021-00505-x, Springer Nature