Development of Loads for Aircraft Structures with CAE


Aircraft structures are subjected to numerous environments that cause external and internal loads to vary. Calculating such loads is an essential part of aircraft development and safety, but requires a complex combination of tools and methods. Watch our webinar series and learn how CAE software can be better used to improve loads methods and processes.

Use of motion simulation to determine load-stroke curves of controls surfaces

Adams is a powerful tool for studying the performance of mechanical systems, in part because it handles large displacement problems quickly and efficiently. Its ability to solve highly-nonlinear problems in the time domain is well-documented, but did you know that you can use that time domain solution to get actuator loads as a function of displacement?

Use of MSC Nastran for Aeroelastic Analysis

The MSC Nastran Aeroelasticity capability has seen significant enhancements and additions over the last 10 years. Some examples include updates to monitor points and splines. In addition, extensions such as the Hybrid Static Aeroelasticity (HSA) toolkit enables you to integrated CFD with MSC Nastran simulations. More recently the HSA Toolkit capabilities and 6DOF spline technology are being implemented in a specific SCA service named HSA.OpenFSI_ex. This OpenFSI interface will allow users to easily couple MSC Nastran SOL 400 to external CFD codes for both static and transient simulations without the need of complementary software.

Watch this presentation to learn more about the latest enhancements and additions available in MSC Nastran’s Aeroelasticity capability and the new SCA Interface SOL400 HSA.OpenFSI_ex.

MSC Nastran Aeroelasticity Applied to Civil Aircraft Certification

MSC Nastran is an industry-leading tool for aeroelastic analysis – combining aerodynamics, mass properties, and structural flexibility – for aircraft loads, dynamics, and flutter. These analyses are used in all parts of the airplane life cycle from conceptual design to final certification and fleet support.

This presentation focuses on the use of MSC Nastran for certification level analysis. Specific examples of MSC Nastran/Patran and related tool usage are shown for completed civil certification projects. Attendees will gain an appreciation of the ability of these tools and procedures to provide critical certification data at the highest required levels of fidelity (FAA and international). Analysis types and levels of detail are also summarized for earlier steps of the design cycle.

Improving Loads Management and Processing with SimManager

The successful development and certification of aircraft structures is highly dependent on efficient calculation, documenting, and processing of external and internal loads.

Existing methods of processing and managing loads data is often very manual. As more loads data is produced, existing methods can lead to:

  • Increased cycle times stemming from incorrect loads data being used downstream
  • Significant time consumed by manual processes such as generating reports
  • Loss of loads traceability contributing to longer certification times

This presentation details methods available in SimManager for improving loads processes.

Rapid construction of Finite Element meshes for loads and stress analysis with MSC Nastran

Finite element meshing is a time consuming process. Mesh transitions in particular have to be carefully thought in advance, and must be crafted carefully created in order to ensure nodes align with each other.

Permanent Glue in MSC Nastran is a method of connecting incongruent meshes together, but at the same time presevering the accuracy of the solution. See the figure below.

“The use of glued contact for assemblies reduces the problem setup time from 1 day to 1 hour and avoids tedious mesh alignment between parts.” Julien Rodes, Study Engineer, Sogeti



  • Surya
    June 12, 2015

    Nice article Chris. I try to teach very similar things at, and I also provide an FEA course at which focuses on loads based approach.

  • Ramakrishnan
    April 24, 2018

    Great Post.This blog contains really interesting stuff on cae. I learned a lot .Very easy to understand. Thank you for sharing this article.

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