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Wing-Fuselage Junction  
User currently onlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1620 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I have always wondered why airliners have their wings attached to the fuselage sides. Would you not have a stronger structure if the wings were directly attached to each other at the fuselage centerline instead (ie, with no distinct wing box, only two structural halves), and the wing structure remaining monolithic and unimpaired at the fuselage sides?

Is this done for ease of manufacture?

Faro


The chalice not my son
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Faro (Thread starter):

The two visible wing sections are in fact joined to a carry through structure. Thus, in essence, the wing is a one piece structure from wing tip to wing tip. The fuselage has a large cut-out in it to accommodate the wing, and basically sits on top of the wing centre section.

On the 747 for instance, there are three fuselage frames that attach to the top of the wing centre section at either end of the frame. Thus, there are six main attachments between the fuselage and wing.

The photos below show the removal of the visible sections of the wing from the centre section. The fuselage actually sits on the centre section, which carries through the entire width of the fuselage.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders


You can see that Boeing also builds the 747 wing in the reverse manner. As you say, it probably does ease the manufacturing process to make the wing in three pieces, with appropriate attention being paid to the design of the joining interfaces.



http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/library/747dash8wingsjoined.JPG

Regards, JetMech

[Edited 2009-06-24 01:14:02]


JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently onlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 1):
The two visible wing sections are in fact joined to a carry through structure. Thus, in essence, the wing is a one piece structure from wing tip to wing tip. The fuselage has a large cut-out in it to accommodate the wing, and basically sits on top of the wing centre section

Wow, thanx for the pix!

If the wing is a one-piece structure however, wouldn't this be even stronger (and perhaps lighter) if it were a one-joint one-piece structure instead of a two-joint one?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Faro (Reply 2):

No worries. I think the only current commercial type where two aerodynamic surfaces are joined directly on the centreline is the tailplane of the 777.

Quoting Faro (Reply 2):
If the wing is a one-piece structure however, wouldn't this be even stronger (and perhaps lighter) if it were a one-joint one-piece structure instead of a two-joint one?

You can pretty much design in as much "strength" as you require, with a weight penalty of course. So yes, I suppose a single piece wing would be lighter for a given strength.

I suspect however, that the bending moment in the wing would have its highest magnitude at the centre line, thus, a single joint at this location may need to be more substantial compared with joins at the fuselage sides. Thus, the weight advantage may not be as obvious as it seems.

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineAutothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1609 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 3):
I think the only current commercial type where two aerodynamic surfaces are joined directly on the centreline is the tailplane of the 777.

Don't know if i understand that correctly but, doesn't Airbus assemble on all planes the horizontal stabiliser joined into the airframe?



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

The wings are attached to a Torque Box.

See The Term Torque Box (by HAWK21M Feb 28 2009 in Tech Ops)


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
Would you not have a stronger structure if the wings were directly attached to each other at the fuselage centerline instead



Quoting Faro (Reply 2):
If the wing is a one-piece structure however, wouldn't this be even stronger (and perhaps lighter) if it were a one-joint one-piece structure instead of a two-joint one?

Not stronger, but lighter. Normal design practice is that the joints are always stronger than the rest of the structure, so the joints actually increase, not decrease, strength. However, you pay a horrible weight penalty for that.

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 4):

Don't know if i understand that correctly but, doesn't Airbus assemble on all planes the horizontal stabiliser joined into the airframe?

The horizontal stab on Airbii is like Boeing...it goes right through the fuselage as a single structural member (it may be built in multiple pieces though).

Tom.


User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Autothrust (Reply 4):

A lot of commercial types appear to have horizontal stabilisers that are made of three parts. They are the two visible parts, and a centre section carry through structure. Thus, these designs represent a shallow "C" shape, such as the 747, and have two major joins.
Apparently with the 777 horizontal stabiliser, the two visible parts join directly to each other, without an intervening centre section, thus, these designs resemble a shallow "V" shape, and have a single major join.

Quoting Autothrust (Reply 4):
Airbus assemble on all planes the horizontal stabiliser joined into the airframe?

Yes, as TDs notes, the tailplane is assembled into one single piece. This is then attached into the fuselage. Most tailplanes attach via pivot points on the rear spar, and to a jackscrew on the front spar, but there certainly are exceptions. Apparently, the L1011 tailplane was mounted entirely on jackscrews alone.

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently onlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Not stronger, but lighter. Normal design practice is that the joints are always stronger than the rest of the structure, so the joints actually increase, not decrease, strength. However, you pay a horrible weight penalty for that.

Thanx for the feedback; is this also the case with CFRP wings? Can you do away with jointed wings altogether with CFRP given its greater fatigue resistance?

Also, is it normal for airliners to have their wings removed for maintenance as pictured with the above-pictured KLM 747 or is this done in special cases only (to ascertain any damage after heavy landings for example)? This seems to be one hell of a procedure to go through...

Faro

[Edited 2009-06-25 01:51:33]


The chalice not my son
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Faro (Reply 8):

Thanx for the feedback; is this also the case with CFRP wings?

In general, yes. You still want the joint to be stronger than the rest. You can do less joints on a CFRP wing because of the manufacturing method though. Metal wings are made from metal billets, so your largest part is limited by the largest billet you can get, which is limited by the metal mill and transportation concerns. For example, each wing skin on a large jet is usually 2/3/more individual skins spliced together because you can't economically get aluminum billets that are wide enough and deep enough to do an entire skin at once.

Since CFRP is built-up, rather than cut-down, there's no manufacturing limit on the initial part size other than your autoclave.

Quoting Faro (Reply 8):
Can you do away with jointed wings altogether with CFRP given its greater fatigue resistance?

The fatigue resistance issue is somewhat separate from the joining issue. Joining is purely a manufacturing (and sometimes maintenance) issue that's somewhat independent of the material. If you could get large enough billets, or big enough autoclaves, you could do single-piece wings with either technology.

Fatigue is the major reason the joint has to be stronger for metal wings. Joints always have stress concentrations, and stress concentrations cause huge drops in fatigue life. As a result, in order to meet fatigue requirements, metal joints on wings will almost always be grossly overstrength. CFRP has better fatigue properties, so this penalty shouldn't be a severe, but the countervailing factor is that CFRP doesn't take point loads (bolts/rivets/etc.) as well, so joints are more challenging.

Quoting Faro (Reply 8):
Also, is it normal for airliners to have their wings removed for maintenance as pictured with the above-pictured KLM 747

No. That particular case was done for transportation reasons, not maintenance. There's no normal maintenance procedure that would remove the wings. You'd only do it for non-normal repair and, even then, the economic case would be pretty tight I suspect.

Tom.


User currently onlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 9):
If you could get large enough billets, or big enough autoclaves, you could do single-piece wings with either technology.

Thanx for the feedback. I guess one inevitable question is why didn't Boeing (and why won't Airbus I imagine, with the A350) set up the wing-building facility next to the main assembly line for the 787 and do all the wing work including autoclaving in-house. They could then have designed a one-piece wing. Unless of course the economic argument in favour of farming out the work was irresistible...

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Faro (Reply 10):
I guess one inevitable question is why didn't Boeing (and why won't Airbus I imagine, with the A350) set up the wing-building facility next to the main assembly line for the 787 and do all the wing work including autoclaving in-house.

I think you answered your own question:

Quoting Faro (Reply 10):
Unless of course the economic argument in favour of farming out the work was irresistible...

I suspect there's strong political component in there too. In Airbus's case, wings are the major British contribution to Airbus assembly. They need the Brits happy, and taking the wing away would not keep them happy. In Boeing's case, I don't think it's a coincidence that the launch orders came from the country who got the wings.

Right after Mike Bair left the 787 program, he had a lunch with some local business group (Everett Chamber of Commerce?) and opined that he's like to see a "supersite" where suppliers were colocated with final assembly. In that case, I think it was more about supplier oversight than part size & transport, but there would be obvious logistics advantages.

Quoting Faro (Reply 10):
They could then have designed a one-piece wing.

Yes. However, even if you did it on site I'm not sure it would economically work. A single-piece aluminum wing would require that you be on-site with the aluminum plant, and those are highly geographically constrained. It would also require some machining equipment on a scale that, as far as I know, doesn't exist today. A more tractable solution might be one-piece upper and lower skins and one-piece spars but, even then, I think you'd have to be on-site with the aluminum plant.

One-piece CFRP would be a lot easier on the materials side, but the mandrel for a one-piece barrel is already pretty complicated. The mandrel or mold for a one-piece wing would be a pretty phenominal piece of technology in its own right. One-piece skins are what we've got now, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we get to one-piece spars in the near future (A400M might already have it, I'm not sure).

Tom.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6119 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

In a similar way, sailplanes have a 3-piece wing (or more, depending on the design of the wing) as well. Since a sailplane's wings are specifically designed to detach, there are heavy structural pieces on the root that interface with a wingbox in the fuselage itself, where the bolting/securing takes place. When the wings are secured, all three pieces are engineered to act as one.


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 7):
Apparently, the L1011 tailplane was mounted entirely on jackscrews alone.

The L-1011 horizontal stabilizer (tailplane?) has no jsckscrews. It is attached to the aft-body by two bearings and moved by four hydraulic actuators. On the L-1011 jackscrews are only used for secondary controls (slats and flaps).


User currently onlineFaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1620 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 11):
One-piece CFRP would be a lot easier on the materials side, but the mandrel for a one-piece barrel is already pretty complicated. The mandrel or mold for a one-piece wing would be a pretty phenominal piece of technology in its own right. One-piece skins are what we've got now, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we get to one-piece spars in the near future (A400M might already have it, I'm not sure).

In effect, the technology is not yet here, but is not impossible to implement. Maybe a one-piece wing for the 737/777 replacements one day...

On a sidenote, in many ways, all future CFRP airliners are indebted to the pioneering efforts of Boeing on the 787. In effect, it is the sole member of the 1st CFRP airliner generation. The A400M, A350 and others will have the free benefit of the knowledge of all its development problems, that they may better avoid them in their own endeavours.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17176 posts, RR: 66
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I recall an interview with Burt Rutan where he said GlobalFlyer's wing was one piece. No joins. Thus lighter and simpler in structure. All composite of course.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Luke Jensen




"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
The L-1011 horizontal stabilizer (tailplane?) has no jsckscrews. It is attached to the aft-body by two bearings and moved by four hydraulic actuators. On the L-1011 jackscrews are only used for secondary controls (slats and flaps).

Fair enough. Can you give more details on the operation of L1011 horizontal stabiliser and elevators? I remember reading that it is an all flying surface, and the elevators are geared into the movement of the tailplane. Is this what actually happens?

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 16):
Fair enough. Can you give more details on the operation of L1011 horizontal stabiliser and elevators? I remember reading that it is an all flying surface, and the elevators are geared into the movement of the tailplane. Is this what actually happens?

Here are a couple of sketches from an old training manual. Basically the four actuators position the stabilizer and the elevator is positioned by the cables/push rod. The stabilizer moves from nose up 1 degree to nose down 14 degrees.

The elevator is at 0 degrees when the stabilizer nose is full up and plus 24 degrees when the stabilizer nose is full down.

Big version: Width: 994 Height: 1288 File size: 380kb
Big version: Width: 955 Height: 1315 File size: 208kb


User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):

Thanks for the info! That's a very interesting set-up. It appears that the horizontal stabiliser not only trims the aircraft, but controls pitch as well, with the elevators set up almost like an anti-servo tab. It's interesting to see that the power servos are physically separate from the actuator bodies. Most actuators I have seen have the power servo and actuator body as one piece.

I can only assume that given there are four feedback linkages, each actuator must operate independently. How is all this sequenced to operate in unison? What if one or more of the actuators fails or tries to go in an opposite direction to the rest?

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 18):
I can only assume that given there are four feedback linkages, each actuator must operate independently. How is all this sequenced to operate in unison? What if one or more of the actuators fails or tries to go in an opposite direction to the rest?

There is a test that verifies the servos/actuators are working in unisonous. The "hysteresis test" shuts off the hydraulic power to each servo and the movement of the stabilizer is measured. If the difference between the two system is too high re-rigging is required.

While I can't think of a way to make an actuator go in the wrong direction, if it did happen the other three would simply over power it. Additionally, the actuator attach pins are designed to shear case of a actuator jam.

The L-1011 was designed to be operated safely with the loss of three of its four hydraulic systems. So full pitch control would be available with only one half of a servo and one actuator operating.


User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2699 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 19):
Additionally, the actuator attach pins are designed to shear case of a actuator jam.



Quoting 474218 (Reply 19):
The L-1011 was designed to be operated safely with the loss of three of its four hydraulic systems. So full pitch control would be available with only one half of a servo and one actuator operating.

That's pretty impressive redundancy. Is there any reason Lockheed went for such a set-up, as opposed to something more "conventional"?

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineDc8friendship From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 243 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
wing structure remaining monolithic and unimpaired at the fuselage sides?

This is how CRJ's are built. the "wings" are actually one wing, attached to the fuselage by six or seven (I can't remember) Bolts, and faired in with composite secondary structure. The main spar is a single piece of milled aluminum. Some inspection during the life of the aircraft requires these bolt to be looked at, requiring the aircraft to be shored and bolts removed.



Come fly the Friendly Skies of United
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7141 posts, RR: 46
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Small aircraft often have a two-piece wing with the fuselage on top (low wing aircraft only; Cessnas have a three piece wing); my next airplane (the Mooney) has a one piece wing. With large aircraft the center wing box is also the main landing gear support, and I think this is a big reason why they do it in three pieces. And while removing wings is a very infrequent occurrence on large aircraft, I suspect it would be nearly impossible with a two piece wing as opposed to very difficult with three. But I think that the landing gear is the main reason why they are all three piece; the landing gear support structure is much easier to build with the three piece structure..


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 20):
That's pretty impressive redundancy. Is there any reason Lockheed went for such a set-up, as opposed to something more "conventional"?

Best way to explain it: Boeing was ran by their production staff, Douglas their sales team and at Lockheed it was their engineering department.

Quoting Dc8friendship (Reply 21):
This is how CRJ's are built. the "wings" are actually one wing, attached to the fuselage by six or seven (I can't remember) Bolts, and faired in with composite secondary structure. The main spar is a single piece of milled aluminum. Some inspection during the life of the aircraft requires these bolt to be looked at, requiring the aircraft to be shored and bolts removed.

Could you provide a picture (or sketch) of the CRJ wing installation. I am having a hard time picturing how only six or seven bolts can attach the wing. I would think at the least the outer wing box stringers would have to be attached to the center wing box stringers for load transfer.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting 474218 (Reply 23):
Could you provide a picture (or sketch) of the CRJ wing installation. I am having a hard time picturing how only six or seven bolts can attach the wing. I would think at the least the outer wing box stringers would have to be attached to the center wing box stringers for load transfer.

The six or seven bolts hold the wing assembly to the fuselage, not the wings to the wing box. Load transfer between wing stringers is internal to the wing assembly.

Tom.


25 L-188 : I need to add a few comments here. There are a number of smaller aircraft that do have mantaince procedures that will require de-mating a wing. The on
26 474218 : OK with just six bolts holding the wing assembly to the fuselage how can they maintain pressure? I sure would like to see pictures. I am still waiting
27 Post contains links Tdscanuck : The wing's not pressurized. It's the fuselage skin that's holding pressure. It varies by aircraft, but I'd suspect most have a fitting outside the pr
28 Post contains links 474218 : I could only find a cutaway drawing for the Canadair Challenger (the aircraft the CRJ's are based on) and its wing attach does not appear to look any
29 Post contains links ZANL188 : B-727 in fact has 4 bolts attaching wing to fuselage as described in this thread, I've seen the video mentioned... How Do They Fix Airliner Wings To
30 474218 : I couldn't find the video?
31 Post contains links ZANL188 : unfortunately no longer available at Amazon... http://www.amazon.com/Building-Test-...UTF8&s=video&qid=1246719891&sr=8-1
32 474218 : So you are telling me that the wings on a B727 are held on with just four bolts? "Amazing".
33 ZANL188 : Yup. They were large though and I understand they were called "pins" vs bolts. Tolerances were extremely tight, the pins were shrunk with liquid nitr
34 Dynamicsguy : That sounds more like an interference fit rather than tight tolerances, though the tolerance also may have been tight.
35 777WT : Even the C-130 has 4 bolts that holds each wing on. There was a SB or a AD out recently on it to inspect it due to corrosion findings. On the ERJ-145
36 ZANL188 : That was a TCTO and a bunch more than 4 bolts.
37 Larshjort : As far as I remember each wing on the F-16 is held in place by 16 bolts. /Lars
38 Post contains links 474218 : Suggest you review the following site: http://www.asipcon.com/2006/06_proceed/Tuesday/0430_Bateman.pdf If there are only 4 bolts holding on the wing
39 777WT : I'll have to ask my boss for more info who was a mtx crew cheif for the USAF on the C-130's. When I mentioend about the recent inspections on the win
40 474218 : Why not just look at photos in the site I referenced, it clearly shows that there are 24 bolts that attach the inner wing box to the outer wing box,
41 Challengerdan : Same set-up on the entire Challenger 600 series and CRJ. Although i can't garantee for 700 series, but set-up is similar. 3 fittings on each side of t
42 Post contains images ZANL188 : Happened to see these 727 disassembly photos on the Airplane Home website - thread currently running in Non-A. In the very center of the first pix you
43 474218 : How come there is no fitting on the wing that mates to the "pin"? In fact the front spar is contoured around the "pin". If the "pin" attaches the win
44 FX772LRF : Really, I think the one of the main reasons larger jets don't contain a one-piece wing is because of transportation. They already have a hard enough
45 ZANL188 : Negative. They disassembled the wing vs removing the pin.....
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