Aircraft Stress Analysis References
The following list of references is non-exhaustive but covers most of the tools that I use for doing my job as an aircraft stress analyst.
The editions and years of publication of those references were purposely omitted since that many of us use different ones and it seems to be doing the job just fine as some of the information they contain are based on tests that were done back in the 1940’s and are still applicable today. I do recommend though getting the most recent ones if possible. However, if you happen to put your hands onto some older books from a retired “stressman” then grab’em. The books may be yellowed and worn but will have most likely many very valuable hand corrections and personal notes and also might be a lot cheaper!
Although these books are the most popular ones and, to me essential, the first reference to use is always the Design Stress Manual (or Structural Design Manual) from the company you work for. Quite often, the information presented in those DSM’s is copied from the references below and sometimes from other companies’ DSM… But nevertheless it should be the main reference to use and the other ones should be consulted when the DSN is lacking specific methodologies or as a double check.
Always verify with your boss and the certifying authority representative (DER or else) if you plan to use a reference that is not well known, especially if it leads to a less conservative Margin of Safety.
Except for the NACA technical reports that links to the NASA website (in purple, free), the ESDU, the MMPDS and, the CMH-17 (in green), the following list contains affiliate links (in blue) to Amazon.com that will redirect you directly to the description of the book and the option for you to purchase it if you want.
List of the most used references in aircraft stress analysis:
- Analysis & Design of Flight Vehicle Structures: Dr. E.F. BRUHN
- Airframe Stress Analysis and Sizing: Michael C. Y. NIU
- Roark’s Formulas for Stress & Strain; Warren C. YOUNG
- Formulas for Stress, Strain, and Structural Matrices; Walter D. PILKEY
- Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design
- Theory of Plates and Shells; S. TIMOSHENKO
- Practical Finite Element Analysis for Mechanical Engineers; Dominique MADIER
- Practical Stress Analysis for Aircraft Design Engineers; Jean-Claude FLABEL
- Engineering Sciences Data Unit (IHS ESDU)
- Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS); FAA, DoD, NASA. (supersedes the MIL-HDBK-5)
- Composite Material Handbook-17 (CMH-17). (supersedes the MIL-HDBK-17)
- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) technical reports. (Public Domain)
- Peterson’s Stress Concentration Factors; Walter D. PILKEY
- The Practical Use of Fracture Mechanics; David BROEK
- Machinery’s Handbook