There is a growth in the use of composites for the new generation of wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. This shift from using aluminium as the primary material is motivated by the benefits of using composites in design, manufacturing and operations. Composites offer the aircraft manufacturer the ability to create more complex shapes and optimise the design such that it is light-weight. This, in tandem with other design improvements, leads to lower fuel burn. Consequently, airlines see the advantage of these new aircraft to reduce their operational cost. Therefore, as airlines continue to renew their ageing fleets of aluminium aircraft, there is going to be an increased need for composite maintenance. However, fulfilling the increased demand for composite repairs is impeded by limited availability of historical damage data, due to the young operational age of these aircraft. Composites are particularly sensitive to impact damage, and understanding the likelihood and the consequence of this type of damage is valuable for maintenance processes such as repair decision-making. The purpose of this dissertation is to predict the risk of impact damage for future composite aircraft and use it to substantiate maintenance decision-making in an operational setting...
- Multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM)
- Aircraft maintenance
- Impact damage
- Impact risk