Design & Analysis of Stratolaunch Airplane

CLIENT

Scaled Composites

Structural Analysis, Flutter Analysis, Structural Optimization, Aerospace Design, Composites, Dynamics, Flutter-Aeroelasticity, Commercial Aerospace

CHALLENGES

Scaled Composites is under contract to build an all composite airplane, which will be the largest wingspan aircraft to ever fly – 385ft. With this contract comes lots of engineering challenges. Quartus has been involved in the project since its infancy, and continues to provide exceptional value.

SOLUTIONS

Quartus began to support the Stratolaunch project in the form of aeroelastic flutter analysis; essentially a stability analysis of interaction of aerodynamic forces and structural vibration. Quartus provided several rounds of flutter analysis and trade studies, and helped to size areas of structure based on aeroelastic flight stability.

Quartus then supported the project providing dynamic flight gust simulations (FAR 25.341), and early landing simulations.

The Stratolaunch airplane is an all composite airframe which uses key items from a Boeing 747: landing gear, engines, cockpit, flight controls. Quartus was instrumental in designing and analyzing the main landing gear interface fittings, some of which were as large as 8 feet long and machined from exotic aircraft aluminum and steel materials.

Quartus has also been instrumental in performing FE modeling and structural analysis of nearly all parts of the airplane. This includes the fuselage, empennage, center wing, and LV attach interface. All of these items are primary structure, and are mostly composite with some metallic fitting hard points. Ninety five percent of the analysis was performed using NX- NASTRAN, with ABAQUS being utilized for some tougher non-linear problems.

ENGINEERING DISCIPLINES

  • FE Modeling

  • Composites

  • Dynamics

  • Flutter-Aeroelasticity

SOFTWARE & TOOLS

  • Catia™

  • NX-NASTRAN™

  • ABAQUS

  • FEMAP

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