A case study in fracture mechanics

A case study in fracture mechanics - possible design flaw...

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A case study in fracture mechanics: The first passenger jet Original design. De Havilland Comet, the worlds first jet passenger aircraft Revised design. What is different ?
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Comet disasters of 1954 Rome's Ciampino airport, the site of the first Comet hull loss, was again the origin of more disastrous Comet flights just over a year later. On 10 January 1954, 20 minutes after taking off from Ciampino, Comet G-ALYP ("Yoke Peter"), BOAC Flight 781, broke up in flight and crashed into the Mediterranean off the Italian island of Elba, with the loss of all 35 on board.[62] With no witnesses to the disaster and only "sketchy" and incomplete radio transmissions left behind, there appeared to be no obvious reason for the crash. Engineers at de Havilland immediately recommended 60 modifications aimed at any
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Unformatted text preview: possible design flaw while the Abell Committee[N 19] met to determine potential causes of the crash. Before the Elba accident, G-ALYP had made 1,290 pressurised flights and at the time of the Naples accident, G-ALYY had made 900 pressurised flights. Dr. P.B. Walker, Head of the Structures Department (RAE) said he was not surprised by this, noting that the difference was about 3 to 1, and previous experience with metal fatigue suggested a total range of 9 to 1 between experiment and outcome in the field could result in failure. Thus, if the tank test result was "typical", aircraft failures could be expected at anywhere from 1,000 to 9,000 cycles. The final outcome Boeing entered the 707 and put de Havilland out of business...
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course MSE 4020 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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A case study in fracture mechanics - possible design flaw...

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