An optimisation framework is presented for robust design configuration of composite aircraft wings through consideration of uncertainties in material properties, ply orientations and thickness. A detailed Finite Element wing box model of a regional jet airliner is used as a benchmark. The wing structure is optimised for minimum weight with strain, buckling, flutter/divergence and gust constraints. Polynomial Chaos Expansion approach is used to efficiently quantify the effects of uncertainty in the design parameters. This method is used to determine the probability of flutter/divergence occurring, and the allowable root bending moment being exceeded, for any given design specification which is then optimised using a Particle Swarm Optimisation algorithm. Results are compared with deterministic solution for optimal flutter speed and minimum root bending moment. Three layup strategies were undertaken, a first which only consists of 00, ±450 and 900 plies, a second which included ±300 and ±600 plies and a third which also uses ±150 and ±750 plies. A minimum improvement in reliability of 32.6% is achieved for laminate with 00, ±450 and 90plies and highest reduction in mean root bending moment value is obtained with inclusion of ±300 and ±600 plies. The layup strategy with 00, ±300, ±450, ±600 and 900 plies give the optimal robust solution for both flutter and root bending moment responses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016
Event5th Aircraft Structural Design Conference - Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Oct 20166 Oct 2016


Conference5th Aircraft Structural Design Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Aeroelastic tailoring
  • Multi-constraint optimisation
  • Robust optimisation
  • Polynomial Chaos Expansion
  • Flutter
  • Gust alleviation
  • Lamination Parameters


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