Analysis of bird impact on a composite tailplane leading edge

M Guida, Michele Meo, M Riccio, F Marulo

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61 Citations (SciVal)


One of the main structural requirements of a leading edge of a tailplane is to ensure that any significant damage caused by foreign object (i.e. birdstrike, etc...) would still allow the aircraft to land safely. In particular, leading edge must be certified for a proven level of bird impact resistance. Since the experimental tests are expensive and difficult to perform, numerical simulations can provide significant help in designing high-efficiency bird-proof structures. The aim of this research paper was to evaluate two different leading edge designs by reducing the testing costs by employing state-of-the-art numerical simulations. The material considered was a sandwich structure made up of aluminium skins and flexcore as core. Before each test was carried out, pre-test numerical analyses of birdstrike were performed adopting a lagrangian approach on a tailplane leading edge of a large scale aircraft using the MSC/Dytran solver code. The numerical and experimental correlation have shown good results both in terms of global behaviour of the test article and local evolution of some measurable parameters confirming the validity of the approach and possible guidelines for structural design including the bird impact requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-257
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Composite Materials
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Finite element analysis
  • Aircraft tailplane leading edge
  • Birdstrike


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