**Aircraft Structures for engineering students Fourth Edition By T. H. G. Megson.**

During my experience of teaching aircraft structures I have felt the need for a textbook written specifically for students of aeronautical engineering. Although there have been a number of excellent books written on the subject they are now either out of date or too specialist in content to fulfil the requirements of an undergraduate textbook. My aim, therefore, has been to fill this gap and provide a completely self-contained course in aircraft structures which contains not only the fundamentals of elasticity and aircraft structural analysis but also the associated topics of airworthiness and aeroelasticity.

The book in intended for students studying for degrees, Higher National Diplomas and Higher National Certificates in aeronautical engineering and will be found of value to those students in related courses who specialize in structures. The subject matter has been chosen to provide the student with a textbook which will take him from the beginning of the second year of his course, when specialization usually begins, up to and including his final examination. I have arranged the topics so that they may be studied to an appropriate level in, say, the second year and then resumed at a more advanced stage in the final year; for example, the instability of columns and beams may be studied as examples of structural instability at second year level while the instability of plates and stiffened panels could be studied in the final year. In addition, I have grouped some subjects under unifying headings to emphasize their interrelationship; thus, bending, shear and torsion of open and closed tubes are treated in a single chapter to underline the fact that they are just different loading cases of basic structural components rather than isolated topics. I realize however that the modern trend is to present methods of analysis in general terms and then consider specific applications. Nevertheless, I feel that in cases such as those described above it is beneficial for the student’s understanding of the subject to see the close relationships and similarities amongst the different portions of theory.

Part I of the book, ‘Fundamentals of Elasticity’, Chapters 1–6, includes sufficient elasticity theory to provide the student with the basic tools of structural analysis. The work is standard but the presentation in some instances is original. In Chapter 4 I have endeavoured to clarify the use of energy methods of analysis and present a consistent, but general, approach to the various types of structural problem for which energy methods are employed. Thus, although a variety of methods are discussed, emphasis is placed on the methods of complementary and potential energy. Overall, my intention has been to given some indication of the role and limitations of each method of analysis.

Part II, ‘Analysis of Aircraft Structures’, Chapters 7–11, contains the analysis of the thin-walled, cellular type of structure peculiar to aircraft. In addition, Chapter 7 includes a discussion of structural materials, the fabrication and function of structural components and an introduction to structural idealization. Chapter 10 discusses the limitations of the theory presented in Chapters 8 and 9 and investigates modifications necessary to account for axial constraint effects. An introduction to computational methods of structural analysis is presented in Chapter 11 which also includes some elementary work on the relatively modern finite element method for continuum structures.

Finally, Part III, ‘Airworthiness and Aeroelasticity’, Chapters 12 and 13, are self explanatory. Worked examples are used extensively in the text to illustrate the theory while numerous unworked problems with answers are listed at the end of each chapter; S.I. units are used throughout. I am indebted to the Universities of London (L.U.) and Leeds for permission to include examples from their degree papers and also the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Leeds for allowing me any facilities I required during the preparation of the manuscript. I am also extremely indebted to my wife, Margaret, who willingly undertook the onerous task of typing the manuscript in addition to attending to the demands of a home and our three sons, Andrew, Richard and Antony.

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