group

Authors' Class Standing

Nick Mehlig, Senior Jeremy Asomaning, Senior Zack White, Senior Chris Brown, Senior Dakota Melvin, Senior Diego Rodriguez, Senior Chitrang Patel, Senior

Lead Presenter's Name

Nick Mehlig

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Daewon Kim

Abstract

A lighter, more robust airframe is one of the key technological advancements necessary for the successful launch of any large next-generation transport aircraft. Such a premise dictates that considerable improvements beyond current state-of-the-art aluminum structures are needed and improvements will require extensive use of composite materials. Composite materials are light weight and offer the same, if not more, load bearing capabilities when compared to conventional aluminum aircraft structures. NASA and the Boeing Company have been actively working on the development and optimization of a new composite structural concept that presents substantial advantages over traditional aircraft structures. The new concept, named Pultruded Rod Stitched Efficient Unitized Structure (PRSEUS), offers damage arresting capabilities and weight reductions for transport category aircraft by eliminating the use of fasteners by employing stitched unitized co-cured panels. . With majority of the aircraft operating under general aviation category, applications of such new structural concepts can be valuable. In addition, when dealing with safety in aviation, airworthiness and crashworthiness are important to consider when creating an aircraft structure. Moreover, general aviation has a higher likeliness to be involved in a crash when compared to transport aircraft with high mortality rates. The PRSEUS structural concept promises improved crashworthiness of general aviation aircraft due to the characteristics of the composite structure having a higher energy absorption compared to conventional aircraft aluminum structures. By implementing the PRSEUS concept structure on a general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, the nature of carbon fiber composites will offer better crash worthiness and the damage arresting capabilities due to the stitching will allow for higher loading to be applied. In addition, if PRSEUS can successfully perform under primary loads, it could mean weight savings for the aircraft.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes

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Implementation of PRSEUS for General Aviation Aircraft

A lighter, more robust airframe is one of the key technological advancements necessary for the successful launch of any large next-generation transport aircraft. Such a premise dictates that considerable improvements beyond current state-of-the-art aluminum structures are needed and improvements will require extensive use of composite materials. Composite materials are light weight and offer the same, if not more, load bearing capabilities when compared to conventional aluminum aircraft structures. NASA and the Boeing Company have been actively working on the development and optimization of a new composite structural concept that presents substantial advantages over traditional aircraft structures. The new concept, named Pultruded Rod Stitched Efficient Unitized Structure (PRSEUS), offers damage arresting capabilities and weight reductions for transport category aircraft by eliminating the use of fasteners by employing stitched unitized co-cured panels. . With majority of the aircraft operating under general aviation category, applications of such new structural concepts can be valuable. In addition, when dealing with safety in aviation, airworthiness and crashworthiness are important to consider when creating an aircraft structure. Moreover, general aviation has a higher likeliness to be involved in a crash when compared to transport aircraft with high mortality rates. The PRSEUS structural concept promises improved crashworthiness of general aviation aircraft due to the characteristics of the composite structure having a higher energy absorption compared to conventional aircraft aluminum structures. By implementing the PRSEUS concept structure on a general aviation aircraft such as the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, the nature of carbon fiber composites will offer better crash worthiness and the damage arresting capabilities due to the stitching will allow for higher loading to be applied. In addition, if PRSEUS can successfully perform under primary loads, it could mean weight savings for the aircraft.

 

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