UCLA Extension

Aircraft Design Loads and Certification

Feb 1-2

All structural analysis depends on the development of a sufficient set of applied design load conditions to cover the significant load events during the life of a structure. On aircraft and other weight-critical structures, these loads must not only be sufficient but also no higher than necessary. This second requirement makes the development of good aircraft design loads a real challenge. Furthermore, the design loads need to meet the applicable civil or military regulations. These regulations have, over time, evolved to provide a good framework for the expected loads events; however, on occasion, it may be prudent to go beyond the minimum requirement.

Course Details

This course provides you with an overview of the theory, as well as practical knowledge, of the methodologies for performing aircraft loads analysis and the presentation and validation of those loads for civil or military certification. Participation in in-depth discussion with those who are experts in the field is welcomed and encouraged.

The course benefits:

  • Loads engineers who seek to interact with others in their field
  • Design and stress engineers who would like to become more familiar with aircraft loads analysis to help them understand how the design parameters interact with the applied loads

Upon completing this course, students can:

  • Evaluate a loads analysis for completeness
  • Discuss certification aspects of chosen loads methods, including validation
  • Understand more of the theory behind the loads analysis
  • See how design modifications might impact design loads
  • Participate in in-depth discussions of a few aspects of loads analysis

Course Materials

The text, Structural Loads Analysis for Commercial Transport Aircraft: Theory and Practice, Ted L. Lomax, AIAA, 1996; and lecture notes are distributed on the first day of the course. The notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Willem J. Kernkamp, MS, Loads and Flutter Certification Consultant, Kernkamp Industries Corporation, Chatsworth, California. Mr. Kernkamp is a consultant for aerodynamic loads, flutter, structural substantiation, and FAA certification of transport and commuter category aircraft (FAR 25 and 23). He is involved in all areas of structural analysis, including finite element and detail stress analysis, dynamics, and aerodynamic loads. He has managed the documentation and analysis of many projects conforming with civil aircraft requirements, and is currently an FAA Designated Engineering Representative in structures, loads, and flutter.

Mr. Kernkamp’s loads-related areas of experience include consultant to Airbus in the litigation about the Bell Harbor A300 crash resulting from separation of the vertical tail; management of a FAA certification team for an unmanned vehicle; structural design of all-composite seven-foot propeller blades for a Raptor (high-altitude unmanned aircraft); aerodynamic loads analysis for radomes on the Lockheed C-130; loads analysis and certification of cargo doors and surround structure for Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 757 passenger-to-freighter conversions; structural and aerodynamic loads analysis for certification of weight increases on Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 727 aircraft; aeroelastic loads and flutter analysis of the bulb keel for Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes America’s Cup 1992 racing yacht; simulation of the capsizing of the tug TEMI IV due to tow rope forces (with loss of life) during litigation before the High Court of the Netherlands; and developed computer code for aerodynamic loads analysis (static and dynamic), non-linear dynamic analysis (landing and taxi), and structural analysis.

Mr. Kernkamp has been an independent structural certification consultant in close association with Structural Integrity Engineering since 1994. Prior to that, he worked at Rasmussen and Associates on certification loads and at National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in computation fluid dynamics. He has taught courses in aerodynamic loads analysis to Lockheed Martin employees and general computer science courses to PE engineering students.

Daily Schedule

Day 1

Structural Design Parameters

  • Structural Design Weights and Center of Gravity Limits
  • V-n Diagrams; Structural Design Airspeeds
  • Balanced Maneuvers
  • Discrete Gust
  • Symmetrical Flight Maneuvers
  • Rolling Flight Maneuvers
  • Yawing Flight Maneuvers
    — Bell Harbor A300 Crash (Loss of Fin)
  • Asymmetric Flight Maneuvers
  • Effects of Fuel Distribution
  • Comparison of Military and Commercial Flight Maneuvers

Key Concepts

  • Dynamic Analysis vs. Static Analysis
  • Aeroelastic Analysis vs. Rigid Analysis

Day 2

Aerodynamic Air Loads

  • Flight in Turbulence
  • Aircraft Load Spectrum
  • Acoustic Fatigue Loads
  • Buffeting

Ground, Landing, and Miscellaneous Conditions

  • Landing Conditions
    — MD80 Prototype Hard Landing with Empennage Falling Off
  • Ground-Handling Conditions
  • Emergency Landing Conditions
  • Pressurization
  • Bird Strike
  • Conditions Specific for Military Aircraft Types
  • Comparison of Military and Commercial Requirements

Day 3

Validation and Certification

  • The Type Certification Process
  • Instrumentation and Calibration
  • Ground and Flight Testing
    — Actual Strain Data: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  • Horizontal Tail Loads
  • Vertical Tail Loads
  • Wing Loads
    — CFD Example Compared to Other Methods
  • Body Monocoque Loads
  • Control Surface Loads and High-Lift Devices
  • Radomes
    — CFD Example: Handling Unsteady Flow

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815