Madonia, M., Di Furia, A., Bonasia, S., and Vucinic, D., "Structural Analysis of an Engine Chassis for a Disc-Shaped Airship with Thrust Vector Control," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 8(1):128-138, 2015, doi:10.4271/2014-01-9102.
This paper presents a structural analysis of an engine chassis for a disc-shaped airship demonstrator. The objective was to verify such design solutions for application in the European Union's MAAT (Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport) project.In many airship designs, the engines are attached to the airship frame, located inside the balloon, in order to allow for thrust vector control. These airships have aerodynamic control surfaces to improve maneuverability.For the demonstrator, three engines are considered, with a non-rigid internal structure for their attachment. The engines are located on a horizontal plane (the symmetry plane of the balloon), with two lateral engines and one in front of the balloon.The chassis installation allows the engines to be attached either directly to the exterior envelope by using Kevlar connections, or to the central structural pipe. This chassis design has a simple construction, compared to typical structures addressed in the literature.The structures have a kinematic device based on a servomotor, which provides the torque to tilt the engine. The critical condition is defined with the vertical wind that varies the load factor.A finite element analysis is performed, considering the full structural model with different tilt angles. The Von Mises criterion is applied for the ductile and the Mohr-Coulomb criterion for the brittle materials.The obtained results show that the stresses are within the safety limits. It is concluded that the presented structure can be applied to build the envisaged MAAT demonstrator.