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Coupling equivalent plate and beam models at conceptual design level

Luca Riccobene (Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy)
Sergio Ricci (Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




The purpose of this paper is to present a formulation that couples equivalent plate and beam models for aircraft structures analysis, suitable in conceptual design in which fast model generation and efficient analysis capability are required.


Assembling the complete model with common techniques such as Lagrange multipliers or penalty function method would require a solver capable of handling the combined set of linear equation. The alternative approach proposed here is based on a static reduction of the beam model at specified connection points and the subsequent “embedding” into the equivalent plate model using a coordinate transformation, translating physical dfs in Ritz coordinates, i.e. polynomial coefficients. Displacements and forces on beam elements are recovered with the inverse transformation once the solution is computed.


An aeroelastic trim analysis on a Transonic CRuiser (TCR) civil aircraft conceptual model validates the hybrid model: as the TCR features a slender flexible fuselage and a wide root chord wing, the capability to reduce the beam model for the fuselage at more than one connection point improved aeroelastic corrections to steady longitudinal aerodynamic derivatives.


Although the equivalent model proposed is simpler than others found in literature, it offers automatic mesh generation capabilities, and it is fully integrated into an aeroelastic framework. The hybrid model represents an enhancement allowing both dynamical and static analyses.



Riccobene, L. and Ricci, S. (2015), "Coupling equivalent plate and beam models at conceptual design level", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 87 No. 1, pp. 2-10.



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