The structural design of an all composite motor-glider wing
The relaxed certification requirements associated with amateur construction - "homebuilt" - aircraft, particularly in the USA, has led to a renaissance in the light aircraft industry. Europa Aircraft Ltd has addressed the current demand for a privately owned aircraft by producing a two seat, low wing aircraft of composite construction (fig 1). The aircraft is supplied in kit form and features detachable main wings to allow ease of storage. Critical structural components, such as the main wings, wing spars, and fuselage are fabricated by independent suppliers and inspected prior to being supplied to the customer. Final assembly of the fuselage and wing structure is performed by the customer. The following thesis details two composite motor-glider wings whose structure was designed and engineered by the author to meet set airworthiness requirements. This was the first time a retro-fit glider wing had been designed for a light aircraft, and the first time the Advanced Composites Group (ACG) LTM 26 low-temperature curing pre-impregnated carbon laminate material system was combined with Airex R62.60 core material to form a reinforced sandwich skin material on a manned flight vehicle. This thesis was performed under scholarships from both Strathclyde University and Europa Aviation Ltd. Testing of the structure was partially funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under a SMART program award.