00199 - Aeronautical Structures

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Enrico Troiani
  • Credits: 9
  • SSD: ING-IND/04
  • Language: Italian
  • Moduli: Enrico Troiani (Modulo 1) Sara Bagassi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Aerospace Engineering (cod. 9234)

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing students with:

  • a general overview of different types of aircraft architectures and aeronautical structures
  • an overview of airframe loads, design requirements and aeronautical regulations
  • simplified methods for evaluating stresses in aircraft structures
  • basic know-how about typical aircraft structures problems, like instability of thin panels and stringers

Course contents

Part I

Aircraft architecture. Wing geometry. Aircraft structures classification.

Stresses evaluation in thin-walled structures.
Beam sections geometric characteristics evaluation (centre of gravity, inertia moments, etc.).
Direct and shear stress evaluation in thin-walled beams. Shear centre.

Airframe loads.
Load factor determination. Symmetrical manoeuvres loads. Flight envelope.
Gust analysis and gust envelope.
Horizontal tail static and dynamic balancing loads.
Unsymmetrical loads due to a roll manoeuvre.
Landing loads: 1 and 2 degrees of freedom dynamic models; landing loads evaluation depending on aircraft attitude.


Part II

Aircraft structures.
Truss structures; beams.
General overview of different types of fuselages, engine mounts, cantilever and strut-braced wings, single and multiple spar wing structures.

Semimonocoque structures.
Description and definition.
Loads evaluation for a thin panel with a constant shear flow.
Evaluation of stringers normal stresses and panels shear stresses in a semimonocoque structure. Shear centre.
Multicell beam sections.
Ribs and frames analysis.
Tapered structures.
Cut-outs effects.

Joints and fittings.
Bolted and riveted joints. Loads evaluation. Joints and fittings safety margins evaluation.

Structures instability.
Long and short columns instability: Euler equation and Johnson relations.
Buckling of flat sheet in compression and bending.
Buckling of stiffened sheet in compression: effective sheet width.
Pure tension field beams.
Curved sheet in compression.


  • T.H.G. Megson, "Aircraft Structures for engineering students", Arnold (London) 1999
  • E.F. Bruhn, "Analysis and design of flight vehicle structures", Jacobs Publishing inc. 1973
  • M.C.Y. Niu, "Airframe structural design. Practical design information and data on aircraft structures", Conmilit Press Ltd. 1988
  • M.C.Y. Niu, "Airframe stress analysis and sizing", Conmilit Press Ltd. 1988
  • M.C.Y. Niu, "Composite airframe structures", Conmilit Press Ltd. 1988
  • D.J.Peery, J.J. Azar, "Aircraft Structures", McGraw-Hill 1982
  • D.P. Raymer, "Aircraft design: a conceptual approach", AIAA Education series, NewYork (NY) 1999

Teaching methods

Lessons and practical classes.

Assessment methods

Written and possible oral examination: oral examination is subject to written test approval.

During the written test it is forbidden to refer to any book, note or solved exercise.

Teaching tools

Slideshows (PPT and/or PDF files)

Lecture notes

Examples and solved exercises

Office hours

See the website of Enrico Troiani

See the website of Sara Bagassi


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.