This work offers a comprehensive solution to A course question that is common in Mechanical Engineering curriculum, and that, to this end, had remained unsatisfactorily answered. The question has been used by professors, year after year, to test the understanding of students in the area of structural failure. The question appears mostly in the exact form presented herein, or in a tweaked variation of the same. This work provides a step-by-step solution, with explanations and figures to help the student understand the entire context of the question. All figures and references have been cited. The question requires the student to briefly describe the ‘mechanical’ reasons for the catastrophic structural failure of Aloha Flight 243, which occured in 1988. While there occurs plenty of information about the cause of the accident, there has not been a dedicated elaboration of the specific 'mechanical' reasons that led to the failure, and which could be used to answer this course question. Students will find this solution helpful even in handling other questions in fatigue and general structural failure.
Topic: MECHANICAL REASONS FOR THE CATASTROPHIC STRUCTURAL FAILURE OF ALOHA FLIGHT 243
Subject: Physics and Natural Sciences
Paper type: Research Summary
Number of soruces: 4
...................In the manufacture of airplane body, adjacent fuselage panels are joined longitudinally by overlapping the edge of the skin of the upper panel about three inches over the edge of the skin of the lower panel. On earlier versions of the plane, the overlapping skins were bonded together with an adhesive and fastened with three rows of rivets so that the fuselage pressurization (hoop) loads would be transferred through the adhesive bond, rather than through the rivets. This design used a cold bond adhesive, where, a scrim cloth was impregnated with an adhesive that cures at room temperature and must be kept at dry ice temperature until shortly before its use to prevent premature curing. The cold bond process had manufacturing difficulties such as surface preparation quali ...