What Is The Function Of Longerons In Aircraft?
Longerons are spar-like structures that run along the length of an aircraft’s fuselage or wingspan. Designed to add rigidity and strength to the airframe, longerons serve to transfer loads and stresses from the aircraft skin to the formers. Typically, longerons are attached to multiple formers and bulkheads, with the number of longerons varying based on the size and design of the particular aircraft.
Often confused with stringers, which are thin strips of material where the aircraft skin is secured, longerons are spaced further apart laterally rather than running along the length of the longitudinal axis. Moreover, longerons are also used in wings to connect the ribs. Like other structural components of aircraft, they must be made with durability and strength in mind.
Materials such as wood, carbon fiber, and metal are often relied upon for longeron construction. Earlier versions were composed entirely of wood, but has since then proved less durable and flexible than its counterparts. Furthermore, materials are thoroughly tested prior to installation, ensuring that there are no cracks or other flaws that may cause them to fail.
In most aircraft, each longeron is attached directly to the frame by using bolts. However, in some planes, stiffeners or stringers are also fastened to the longerons. Once the longerons are in place, the skin can be attached to the aircraft. The skin is usually made of metal, leather, canvas, or other materials. Additionally, an insulating material or lining may also be installed.
In early aircraft construction, planes were skinned by stretching fabric over the fuselage and doping it, meaning that it would be painted with a chemical solution designed to stiffen and waterproof it. Doping forced the fabric to shrink, which could produce a tight shell across the body of the aircraft. This technique was eventually discarded as doping materials are extremely flammable. Today, aircraft have metal skins and fire suppression systems for added safety.
For engineers building an aircraft from scratch, custom longerons can be fabricated to fit their needs. In other cases, mass-produced structural supports may be used. Nonetheless, when it comes to longerons, engineers must spend time determining the required number, size, and shape of the longeron to meet your desired load requirements.
With any structural component in aircraft, it must be routinely checked to ensure it is in working condition. While overhaul procedures, maintenance checks, and annual inspections are meant to guarantee the functionality of aircraft, certain flaws can still fall through the cracks. This is why it is important to make sure technicians and maintenance crews are adequately trained for such procedures.
If a technician finds that your aircraft requires new longerons, stringers, or other structural parts, rely on NSN Parts Hub. NSN Parts Hub is a premier distributor of aviation products, all of which are vetted for quality, reliability, and authenticity. Initiate the procurement process by requesting a quote on any item via our Instant RFQ service. Within 15 minutes of submission, an expert team member will reach out with a competitive quote for your comparisons. For additional questions, call or email us at any time; we are available 24/7x365!