Effects of Epistemic Uncertainty on Empennage Loads During Dynamic Maneuvers
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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The Federal Aviation Regulations contain descriptions of a number of dynamic maneuvers that may lead to the development of critical loads for aircraft structural components. The structural members must be sized and designed to withstand such loads, and this must be demonstrated as part of the certification process. Given the high costs of aircraft certification and the programmatic risk associated with design modifications necessitated during later design stages, there is currently a trend towards certification by analysis. Towards this end, from the structural loads perspective, there is a need for a framework that can simulate maneuvers and evaluate the structural loads thus developed. However, in the earlier phases of design, significant epistemic uncertainty may exist with regard to the aircraft mass properties and aerodynamic characteristics, which in turn lead to uncertainty in the maneuver loads. This work demonstrates a methodology that employs sensitivity and Monte Carlo analyses to assess how maneuvering structural loads are affected by uncertainty factors. These analyses are applied to a dynamic simulation model created to simulate a representative business jet performing a checked pitch maneuver. The resultant variability of critical structural loads provides insight into the areas where epistemic uncertainty should be reduced.