Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students - 5th Edition - ISBN: 9780080969053, 9780080969060

Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students

5th Edition

Authors: T.H.G. Megson
Paperback ISBN: 9780080969053
eBook ISBN: 9780080969060
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 20th February 2012
Page Count: 864
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Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students, Fifth Edition, is the leading self-contained aircraft structures course text. It covers all fundamental subjects, including elasticity, structural analysis, airworthiness, and aeroelasticity.

The author has revised and updated the text throughout and added new examples and exercises using Matlab. Additional worked examples make the text even more accessible by showing the application of concepts to airframe structures.

The text is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of aerospace and aeronautical engineering. It is also suitable for professional development and training courses.

Key Features

  • New worked examples throughout the text aid understanding and relate concepts to real world applications
  • Matlab examples and exercises added throughout to support use of computational tools in analysis and design
  • An extensive aircraft design project case study shows the application of the major techniques in the book


Undergraduate and postgraduate students of aerospace and aeronautical engineering. Also suitable for professional development and training courses

Table of Contents



PART A. Fundamentals of Structural Analysis

Section A1 Elasticity

Chapter 1. Basic elasticity

1.1 Stress

1.2 Notation for forces and stresses

1.3 Equations of equilibrium

1.4 Plane stress

1.5 Boundary conditions

1.6 Determination of stresses on inclined planes

1.7 Principal stresses

1.8 Mohr's circle of stress

1.9 Strain

1.10 Compatibility equations

1.11 Plane strain

1.12 Determination of strains on inclined planes

1.13 Principal strains

1.14 Mohr's circle of strain

1.15 Stress–strain relationships

1.16 Experimental measurement of surface strains


Additional Reading

Chapter 2. Two-dimensional problems in elasticity

2.1 Two-dimensional problems

2.2 Stress functions

2.3 Inverse and semi-inverse methods

2.4 St. venant's principle

2.5 Displacements

2.6 Bending of an end-loaded cantilever


Chapter 3. Torsion of solid sections

3.1 Prandtl stress function solution

3.2 St. Venant warping function solution

3.3 The membrane analogy

3.4 Torsion of a narrow rectangular strip


Section A2 Virtual work, energy, and matrix methods

Chapter 4. Virtual work and energy methods

4.1 Work

4.2 Principle of virtual work

4.3 Applications of the principle of virtual work


Chapter 5. Energy methods

5.1 Strain energy and complementary energy

5.2 Principle of the stationary value of the total complementary energy

5.3 Application to deflection problems

5.4 Application to the solution of statically indeterminate systems

5.5 Unit load method

5.6 Flexibility method

5.7 Total potential energy

5.8 Principle of the stationary value of the total potential energy

5.9 Principle of superposition

5.10 Reciprocal theorem

5.11 Temperature effects


Further reading

Chapter 6. Matrix methods

6.1 Notation

6.2 Stiffness matrix for an elastic spring

6.3 Stiffness matrix for two elastic springs in line

6.4 Matrix analysis of pin-jointed frameworks

6.5 Application to statically indeterminate frameworks

6.6 Matrix analysis of space frames

6.7 Stiffness matrix for a uniform beam

6.8 Finite element method for continuum structures


Further reading

Section A3 Thin plate theory

Chapter 7. Bending of thin plates

7.1 Pure bending of thin plates

7.2 Plates subjected to bending and twisting

7.3 Plates subjected to a distributed transverse load

7.4 Combined bending and in-plane loading of a thin rectangular plate

7.5 Bending of thin plates having a small initial curvature

7.6 Energy method for the bending of thin plates

Further reading

Section A4 Structural instability

Chapter 8. Columns

8.1 Euler buckling of columns

8.2 Inelastic buckling

8.3 Effect of initial imperfections

8.4 Stability of beams under transverse and axial loads

8.5 Energy method for the calculation of buckling loads in columns

8.6 Flexural–torsional buckling of thin-walled columns


Chapter 9. Thin plates

9.1 Buckling of thin plates

9.2 Inelastic buckling of plates

9.3 Experimental determination of the critical load for a flat plate

9.4 Local instability

9.5 Instability of stiffened panels

9.6 Failure stress in plates and stiffened panels

9.7 Tension field beams


Section A5 Vibration of structures

Chapter 10. Structural vibration

10.1 Oscillation of mass–spring systems

10.2 Oscillation of beams

10.3 Approximate methods for determining natural frequencies

PART B. Analysis Of Aircraft Structures

Section B1 Principles of stressed skin construction

Chapter 11. Materials

11.1 Aluminum alloys

11.2 Steel

11.3 Titanium

11.4 Plastics

11.5 Glass

11.6 Composite materials

11.7 Properties of materials

Chapter 12. Structural components of aircraft

12.1 Loads on structural components

12.2 Function of structural components

12.3 Fabrication of structural components

12.4 Connections


Section B2 Airworthiness and airframe loads

Chapter 13. Airworthiness

13.1 Factors of safety-flight envelope

13.2 Load factor determination


Chapter 14. Airframe loads

14.1 Aircraft inertia loads

14.2 Symmetric maneuver loads

14.3 Normal accelerations associated with various types of maneuver

14.4 Gust loads


Chapter 15. Fatigue

15.1 Safe life and fail-safe structures

15.2 Designing against fatigue

15.3 Fatigue strength of components

15.4 Prediction of aircraft fatigue life

15.5 Crack propagation


Further reading

Section B3 Bending, shear and torsion of thin-walled beams

Chapter 16. Bending of open and closed, thin-walled beams

16.1 Symmetrical bending

16.2 Unsymmetrical bending

16.3 Deflections due to bending

16.4 Calculation of section properties

16.5 Applicability of bending theory

16.6 Temperature effects


Chapter 17. Shear of beams

17.1 General stress, strain, and displacement relationships for open and single-cell closed section thin-walled beams

17.2 Shear of open section beams

17.3 Shear of closed section beams


Chapter 18. Torsion of beams

18.1 Torsion of closed section beams

18.2 Torsion of open section beams

Chapter 19. Combined open and closed section beams

19.1 Bending

19.2 Shear

19.3 Torsion

Chapter 20. Structural idealization

20.1 Principle

20.2 Idealization of a panel

20.3 Effect of idealization on the analysis of open and closed section beams

20.4 Deflection of open and closed section beams

Section B4 Stress analysis of aircraft components

Chapter 21. Wing spars and box beams

21.1 Tapered wing spar

21.2 Open and closed section beams

21.3 Beams having variable stringer areas

Chapter 22. Fuselages

22.1 Bending

22.2 Shear

22.3 Torsion

22.4 Cut-outs in fuselages

Chapter 23. Wings

23.1 Three-boom shell

23.2 Bending

23.3 Torsion

23.4 Shear

23.5 Shear center

23.6 Tapered wings

23.7 Deflections

23.8 Cut-outs in wings

Chapter 24. Fuselage frames and wing ribs

24.1 Principles of stiffener/web construction

24.2 Fuselage frames

24.3 Wing ribs

Chapter 25. Laminated composite structures

25.1 Elastic constants of a simple lamina

25.2 Stress–strain relationships for an orthotropic ply (macro approach)

25.3 Thin-walled composite beams


Section B5 Structural and loading discontinuities

Chapter 26. Closed section beams

26.1 General aspects

26.2 Shear stress distribution at a built-in end of a closed section beam

26.3 Thin-walled rectangular section beam subjected to torsion

26.4 Shear lag


Chapter 27. Open section beams

27.1 I-Section beam subjected to torsion

27.2 Torsion of an arbitrary section beam

27.3 Distributed torque loading

27.4 Extension of the theory to allow for general systems of loading

27.5 Moment couple (bimoment)


Section B6 Introduction to aeroelasticity

Chapter 28. Wing problems

28.1 Types of problem

28.2 Load distribution and divergence

28.3 Control effectiveness and reversal

28.4 Introduction to “flutter”


Appendix: Design of a rear fuselage

A.1 Specification

A.2 Data

A.3 Initial calculations

A.4 Balancing out calculations

A.5 Fuselage loads

A.6 Fuselage design calculations



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About the Author

T.H.G. Megson

T.H.G. Megson is a professor emeritus with the Department of Civil Engineering at Leeds University (UK). For Elsevier he has written the market leading Butterworth Heinemann textbooks Aircraft Structures for Engineering Students and Introduction to Aircraft Structural Analysis (a briefer derivative of the aircraft structures book), as well as the text/ref hybrid Structural and Stress Analysis.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Civil Engineering, Leeds University, UK


"This is an excellent book and should find a place on the shelf of any student or practising engineer involved in aircraft structural analysis. I can recommend it to the aeronautical community without reservation" --The Aeronautical Journal, October 2001

"As an introduction to the problems encountered in the structural design of modern aircraft, Megson's book can be recommended to both students and those engaged in structural analysis aerospace design offices." --Aerospace