Damage Tolerance Assessment of Commercial Airframes

by T. Swift, FAA, Long Beach, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Fracture Problems in the Transportation Industry


The regulatory authorities now require that commercial transport aircraft structural design be based on a damage tolerance philosophy. A brief history of the development of the regulations leading to this philosophy is outlined in this paper. At this point in time six aircraft have been certified to the new regulation and seven others are currently being evaluated. During these evaluations a number of problems have arisen while manufacturers, operators and authorities are advancing through a learning period which will eventually stabilize. A number of these problems are discussed in this paper.

Subject Headings: Structural safety | Fatigue tests | History | Aircraft and spacecraft | Legislation | Structural analysis | Transportation safety | Damage (structural)

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