6.5.1 Introduction to Damage Tolerance

Course subject(s) Module 6. Certification, Fatigue, and Durability

Not Indestructible, but Damage Tolerant

Earlier in the course, we discussed briefly why an aircraft structure cannot be designed to be indestructible, or at least as close to indestructible as possible, as we do for the flight data recorder onboard an aircraft. Although this is true, we do have an alternative and feasible solution: Damage Tolerance. As unsettling as it may sound, we actually design structures assuming that they will have damages within them so that they do not immediately fail if they are damaged. In this way, we can also design maintenance and inspection actions that can find damages the structure can tolerate, and repair them before they become too large for the structure to endure.

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