Title: Methodology of aircraft structural design optimisation

Authors: Nihong Yang

Addresses: School of Engineering, University of the West of England, Bristol, England, UK

Abstract: Aircraft structural design normally aims to achieve the lightest weight for fuel saving in operations while meeting aircraft performance requirements. Various optimisation methods and approaches are used in structural design optimisation. This paper reviews the aircraft structural optimisation process and methods currently applied in aircraft structural design, including structural analysis and optimisation process, FEA modelling techniques and optimisation algorithms. It is seen that a two-step global local approach is extensively applied in aircraft structural optimisation. Submodelling technique is often used in the global local optimisation, whereas superelement technique can provide accurate solutions. Gradient based optimisation algorithms are suitable for optimisation problems with continuous variables such as size and distance of metallic aircraft structures, whilst genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimisation algorithms are often used for optimisation problems with discrete variables such as laminate composite thickness and stacking sequence. Selection of analysis techniques and optimisation algorithms depends on structure scale for optimisation, computing resources available, and nature of the specific optimisation problem.

Keywords: aircraft structures; design optimisation; FEA modelling techniques; laminated composites; numerical modelling; optimisation algorithms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2022.130874

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2022 Vol.70 No.3/4, pp.145 - 154

Received: 13 Dec 2021
Accepted: 21 Mar 2022

Published online: 13 May 2023 *

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