Structures technology for a new generation of rotorcraftThis paper presents an overview of structures research at the U. S. Army Aerostructures Directorate. The objectives of this research are to investigate, explore, and demonstrate emerging technologies that will provide lighter, safer, more survivable, and more cost-effective structures for rotorcraft in the 1990s and beyond. The emphasis of today's R&D is to contribute proven structures technology to the U. S. rotorcraft industry and Army aviation that directly impacts tomorrow's fleet readiness and mission capabilities. The primary contributor toward meeting these challenges is the development of high-strength and durable composites to minimize structural weight while maximizing cost effectiveness. Special aviation issues such as delamination of dynamic components, impact damage to thin skins, crashworthiness, and affordable manufacturing need to be resolved before the full potential of composites technology can be realized. To that end, this paper highlights research into composites structural integrity, crashworthiness, and materials applications which addresses these issues.
Bartlett, Felton D., Jr. (NASA Langley Research Center; U.S. Army, Aerostructures Directorate, Hampton VA, United States)