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Geodetic/geodesic Construction: Why Not?

Wed May 22, 2013 6:42 pm

Just a question driven by idle curiosity: why have aircraft designers not made wider use of the seemingly pioneering geodetic or geodesic construction principles developed by Barnes Wallis from his experience with airships and then used in aircraft such as the Vickers Wellington?

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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RE: Geodetic/geodesic Construction: Why Not?

Thu May 23, 2013 12:27 am

Just a shot in the dark here, but I imagine there'd be limits on things like window shape and placement, cargo and passenger door configuration and placement, pressure bulkhead design, and other such things.

It IS an interesting question, though.
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RE: Geodetic/geodesic Construction: Why Not?

Thu May 23, 2013 1:06 am

No reason why geodesic structure can't be used on modern aircraft, it's just that most modern aircraft (pressurized or not) all seem to be designed with semi-monocoque stressed skin structures, which results in metal/composite panels with stringers/longerons and no need for a geodesic framework. The Wellington had doped fabric skin so the framework was structurally necessary.
Maybe it's worth revisiting though?
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RE: Geodetic/geodesic Construction: Why Not?

Thu May 23, 2013 1:11 am

I think it was only used for unpressurized aircraft; with a pressurized frame you might worry more about having longer tension members even if they are in a diagonal grid.

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