Structural Health Monitoring of Fighter Airplanes
Wahyu Kuntjoro, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Fighter airplanes such as Hawk, F-50, Sukhoi-30, and F16 are operated by many countries including the TNI-AU (Indonesian Air Force). Airframes of those airplanes are designed based on the “Safe Life” concept, to differentiate with transport airplanes that use Damage Tolerance concept. To ensure the effectiveness of their operations, the structural integrity of fighter units shall be monitored, and this requires implementation of structural health monitoring program or aircraft structural integrity program (ASIP). Central to this theme is flight load monitoring and airframe fatigue monitoring. The monitoring normally are performed to the critical components. As fighters are highly maneuverable airplanes, with high level of flight load missions, Low Cycle Fatigue (LCF) approach is applied. The life or remaining life of the airplane can be obtained by conducting fatigue analysis (LCF) based on the actual load spectrum (or stress spectrum) of the airplanes. LCF is different to the High Cycle Fatigue (HCF) normally used for life determination of systems which operates at low level loadings (say close to its material endurance limit). This presentation starts with ASIP concepts, followed by approaches of design for fatigue, method of obtaining the actual load (or stress) spectrum, and LCF life analysis. Finally challenges in conducting this program will be highlighted.
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