Airplane Loads and Its Importance in Aerospace Industry using NASTRAN

Airplane Loads and its Importance in Aerospace Industry

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A Quick Overview

An airplane structure must withstand loads that occur during normal operation and also for some critical conditions. Therefore, those loads must be determined, taking into account the airworthiness requirements and loads theory. This process is called airplane loads analysis. The present course aims to provide the fundamentals of airplanes loads analysis.

This program was designed based on years of experience in the aeronautical industry, including loads analysis of commercial and executive airplanes that operate worldwide.


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1Introduction to Aircraft Loads

  • Structural project
  • Coordinate systems
  • Center of gravity
  • Limit and ultimate loads
  • Balancing loads
  • Load factors
  • Inertia loads

2Landing and ground loads

  • Energy absorption by landing gears
  • Landing conditions
  • Two-point level landing
  • Three-point landing
  • Tail-down landing
  • One-gear landing
  • Side loads
  • Braked-roll
  • Turning
  • Pivoting
  • Towing

3Flight maneuvering envelope and gust loads

  • Symmetrical maneuvers
  • Rolling maneuvers
  • Yawing maneuvers
  • Limit maneuvering load factors
  • V-n diagram
  • Gust and turbulence loads

4Airplane Tail and Control Surface Loads

  • Horizontal tail loads
  • Vertical tail loads
  • Control surface loads

5Airplane Engine Loads

  • Local coordinate system
  • Nacelle aerodynamic loads
  • Gyroscopic loads
  • Gust loads
  • Engine failures loads

6Airplane Wing and Fuselage Loads

  • Wing loads
    • Maneuver loads
    • Aerodynamic loading
    • Dynamic loading
  • Fuselage loads
    • Maneuver loads
    • Aerodynamic loads
    • Cabin pressure
    • Shear force, bending moment and torsion moment

7Structural dynamics: basic topics

  • Motivation
  • Newton’s 2nd law of motion
  • D' Alembert's principle
  • Elastic and damping element

8Structural dynamics: single-degree-of-freedom systems

  • Definition of a single-degree-of-freedom system
  • Equation of motion
  • Free vibration
  • Different types of excitation forces

9Structural dynamics: multiple-degrees-of-freedom systems

  • Definition of a multiple-degrees-of-freedom system
  • Equations of motion
  • Free vibration of multiple-DOF systems
  • Introduction to modal analysis

10Structural dynamics: transverse and torsional vibration

  • Continuous systems
  • Transverse vibration of beams
  • Torsional vibration of bars

11Finite element method using NASTRAN- part 1

  • The finite element method
  • Lumped mass systems
  • Normal modes solution
  • Transient response
  • Frequency response

12Finite element method using NASTRAN- part 2

  • Modeling of continuous systems
  • Mass and stiffness matrices
  • Running solutions

Projects Overview

Project 1


For the airplane shown in the figures, the following data apply:

  • wingspan = 37.5 m
  • coefficient of aerodynamic moment = -0.06
  • engine thrust = 25 kN (each engine)
  • engine pitch-up angle = 2.5 deg.
  • engine toe-out angle = 3.5 deg.
  • x coordinate of the horizontal tail aerodynamic center = 42.6 m (airplane coord.system).
  • airplane mass = 80000 kg
  • maximum n z = 3.0
  • minimum n z = -1.0


Use the figures to determine the following data:

  1.  Wing area
  2.  Mean aerodynamic chord (use the rule shown in
  3.  X coordinate of the mean aerodynamic chord in the airplane coord. system
  4.  The distances in x-direction between both wing and horizontal tail aerodynamic centers

In addition, consider the following:

  1.  The aerodynamic center is at 40% of the MAC
  2.  The vertical distance from the aerodynamic center to the engine reference point is 1.6 m.
  3.  The horizontal distance from the aerodynamic center to the engine reference point is 7.01 m.
  4.  Two positions for the airplane CG: 7% and 45% of the MAC
  5.  The horizontal force at the horizontal tail is negligible

Question 1

Write the expressions for the vertical force at the horizontal tail as a function of the equivalent airspeed, considering the two CG positions and the limits for the vertical load factor that were given.

Question 2

Plot the curves of the vertical forces at the horizontal tail that were obtained in the previous question.

Project 2



Using FEA software, build a simple airplane model. Engines may be left out. For simplicity, the fuselage may have a circular cross-section. You may use any number of materials as desired, but mechanical characteristics must be close to actual ones. Airplane weight must be between 30000 kg and 40000 kg. The model must be adjusted so that the first mode shape is symmetric wing bending and its frequency must be between 2 Hz and 4 Hz.

Flexible Course Fees

Choose the plan that’s right for you


2 Months Access


Per month for 3 months

  • Access Duration : 2 Months
  • Mode of Delivery : Online
  • Project Portfolio : Available
  • Certification : Available
  • Email Support : Available
  • Forum Support : Available

Lifetime Access


Per month for 3 months

  • Access Duration : Lifetime
  • Mode of Delivery : Online
  • Project Portfolio : Available
  • Certification : Available
  • Individual Video Support : 12/ Month
  • Group Video Support : 12/ Month
  • Email Support : Available
  • Forum Support : Available
  • Telephone Support : Available
  • Dedicated Support Engineer : Available


  • This course may be taken by engineers and engineering students of correlated areas (aerospace, aeronautical, mechanical, mechatronics, electrical), bachelors of technology and physicists.


MSC Nastran

MSC Nastran is the world's most widely used Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solver. Today, manufacturers of everything from parts to complex assemblies are choosing the FEA solver that is reliable and accurate enough to be certified by the FAA and other regulatory agencies.


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  • Top 5% of the class will get a merit certificate
  • Course completion certificates will be provided to all students
  • Build a professional portfolio
  • Automatically link your technical projects
  • E-verified profile that can be shared on LinkedIn

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Frequently Asked Questions

1Who can take this course?

This course may be taken by engineers and engineering students of correlated areas (aerospace, aeronautical, mechanical, mechatronics, electrical), bachelors of technology and physicists.

2What is included in this course?

The content of this course comprises theory related to aircraft loads calculation and also some software skills.

3What will the student gain from this course?

The student will learn the fundamentals of aircraft loads and related airworthiness requirements, some concepts of analytical mechanics and structural dynamics.

4What software skills are you teaching and how well are these tools used in the industry?

Some NASTRAN skills are being presented. NASTRAN is the most popular software for finite element analysis.

5What is the real world application for the tools and techniques you teach in this course?

The theory that will be presented is essential for an aircraft development and certification.

6Which companies use these techniques and for what?

All aeronautical and aerospace industries use the techniques that will be presented in the course.

7How does this course help you in your path to MS or PhD?

The theory that will be presented is commonly taught in graduate disciplines.

8How is this course going to help you get a job?

This course will provide important knowledge that is desired by aeronautical and aerospace industries.

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