Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Chuh Mei

Committee Director

Norman F. Knight, Jr.

Committee Member

Robert L. Ash


A preliminary design tool for metallic stiffened fuselage cylindrical panels subjected to longitudinal compression has been developed and validated by comparison to test results. Several methodologies for stiffened panel buckling and failure predictions were examined and evaluated. An appropriate level of analysis fidelity was determined for different failure modes and design details. Results from panel tests conducted to verify analytical methods used to design the Gulfstream V aircraft were presented. The panels were representative of four general skin/stringer configurations on the aircraft. Finite Element analyses and standard analytical methods were used to predict panel failure loads. The accuracy of the finite element analysis predictions was dependent upon the level of detail included in the model. The inclusion of such details as fasteners had a significant effect on the predicted failure load. The omission of such complexities from the finite element model led to unconservative failure predictions. Standard analytical methods were found to be more efficient than finite element methods and produced conservative panel failure loads. Improvements for a preliminary design tool were identified to reduce conservatism in failure predictions and thereby reduce structural weight.