Chair of Aircraft Structures

Project Laboratory
Research Projects

Composite Aircraft Structures


Lectures + Exercises
Subject Designation
2 + 1


Subject Holder:



Introduction to design of composite aeronautical structures and specifics of their exploitation.



  • Historical overview of composite’s applications in aeronautical structures
  • Characteristics of composite materials. Choice of materials (fibre – matrix) depending on exploitation conditions.
  • Current status of application in civil and military designs. Characteristic composite components. Basic characteristics of fighter, airliner and general aviation composite design.
  • Helicopter composite components. Design of main rotor hub and propeller.
  • Design general guidelines. Design methodology – optimisation based on cost / performance criteria.
  • Static strength and stress concentration factors. Through-thickness strength.
  • Joints and joining of dissimilar materials.
  • Impact energy and impact damage. Bird strike. Structural improvements for damage tolerance. Residual strength. Crash resistance considerations. Lightning strike protection.
  • Structural behaviour in the environment of increased temperature and moisture.
  • Certification requirements. Structural testing at different levels - coupons, elements, components, full scale structure.
  • Sandwich structures. Design and specifics.
  • Composites design in aerospace and rocket structures. Design for extreme heat loading.
  • Defects in structures. Damage classifications. Composite structures repairs. Bolted patches. Bonded repairs.
  • Innovative design concepts and new applications technologies.


Teaching material:

As provided to students during lectures


Additional References:

  • Tsai, S. W.: Theory of Composites Design, Think Composites, Dayton, 1993
  • Niu, M.C.Y., Composite Airframe Structures, Conmilt Press, 1992
  • Middleton, D. H.: Composite Materials in Aircraft Structures, Longman Scientific & Technical, Harlow, 1990
  • Baker, A.A., Dutton, S., Kelly, D.: Composite Materials for Aircraft Structures, AIAA, 2004
  • Gay, D., Hoa, S..V.: Composite Materials – Design and Applications, CRC Press, 2007

Administrator        LAST CHANGE: 28.03.2017