Application of Numerical Methods for Crashworthiness Investigation of a Large Aircraft Wing Impact with a Tree

Chao Zhang, Wieslaw K Binienda, Frank E Horvat, Wenzhi Wang

Abstract


This paper demonstrates application of a numerical methodology for full scale aircraft impact crashworthiness investigation. A special case, impact of an aircraft wing with a tree, was studied using LS-DYNA and ANSYS CFX. In particular, a detailed finite element model of the wing structure was represented as a box structure containing skin, spars and ribs, and fuel was represented as distributed mass. Several material models were utilized and verified using leading-edge bird strike and wood bending experiments. Wood model Mat 143 with material parameters developed based on the wood bending test was found as the most accurate in comparison with the experiment. The aerodynamic pressure distribution on the overall surface of the wing was accomplished using the commercially available Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software ANSYS CFX. Results of the aerodynamic pressures on the wings surfaces were imported into the LS-DYNA finite element model. Parametric studies showed that a fragment of the leading edge of the wing was destroyed by the tree but the lifting surface of the wing was not destroyed. In every simulation scenario, the tree was cut by the first spar of the wing and fell in the direction of the movement of the airplane.

Keywords


Modeling; Smolensk catastrophe; Smolensk crash; Smolensk birch; Finite Element Method; Crashworthiness

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