An analysis of life expectancy of airplane wings in normal cruising flight

Putnam, Abbott A

In order to provide a basis for judging the relative importance of wing failure by fatigue and by single intense gusts, an analysis of wing life for normal cruising flight was made based on data on the frequency of atmospheric gusts. The independent variables considered in the analysis included stress-concentration factor, stress-load relation, wing loading, design and cruising speeds, design gust velocity, and airplane size. Several methods for estimating fatigue life from gust frequencies are discussed. The procedure selected for the analysis is believed to be simple and reasonably accurate, though slightly conservative.

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