THE general use of monocoque structures for the wings and fuselages of modern aeroplanes has undoubtedly given rise to a crop of problems in stress distribution which are still far from a complete solution. Theoretical solutions are nearly always confined to simplified structures that are seldom met with in actual practice so that before a designer can apply a theoretical method He has first to convert the actual structure into one of the standard “simplified” structures. When, however, the actual structure is complicated by holes cut in the stressed skin covering and by other discontinuities no theoretical method can be relied upon for estimating the strength with a satisfactory degree of accuracy. The consequence is that the designer is driven either to piling on weight so as to be on the safe side or to checking the strength of the structure by some kind of test. To reduce the expense of such a test it is very desirable to carry it out on a small model of the actual structure, if it is at all possible to construct such a model with the necessary degree of similarity. Assuming for the moment that true similarity can be attained we shall here examine the relations connecting the behaviour of the model to that of the full‐scale structure.
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