Tests of aluminum-alloy stiffened-sheet specimens cut from an airplane wing

Holt, Marshall (Aluminum Company of America)

The specimens used in the present tests were cut from an actual airplane wing of the stressed-skin type. The specimens thus obtained were not representative of the usual type of laboratory specimens because the stiffeners were not exactly parallel nor evenly spaced and, in one case, the skin consisted of pieces of sheet of different thicknesses. The test data obtained indicate that the buckling strain of stiffened curved sheet can be computed with reasonable accuracy by the equation given by Wenzek. The ultimate loads of the specimens when tested as flat sheet were within +/-11 percent of the product of the compressive yield strength and the cross-sectional area of the stiffeners. A rivet spacing equal to 98 times the sheet thickness was a source of weakness, and rivet spacings up to 36 times the sheet thickness appeared satisfactory.

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