Singapore University of Social Sciences

Mechanical and Structural Factors in Aviation Safety

Mechanical and Structural Factors in Aviation Safety (SFTY335)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Science and Technology

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Science and Technology


Students will conduct a thorough examination of design, manufacturing, metallurgy and maintenance as to the influence each has on aircraft accidents. A detailed analysis of the “Failure Process” will be conducted. Additional topics include: stress and design loading, fatigue, corrosion, and the envelope of operation.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, This will be administered on-campus.


  • Introduction / Design Specifications for Aircraft
  • Loads on an Aircraft / Aloha Airlines Flight 243
  • The Flight Envelope / Metallic Composition
  • Elementary Stress Analysis / The Challenger Accident
  • Stresses from Torsion and Bending Loads / Riveted Joints and Pressure Vessels
  • Strain and the Stress-Strain Diagram / Japan Airlines Flight 123
  • Compressive Failures / Aircraft Metals and Their Heat Treatment
  • Composite Materials / TWA Flight 800
  • Stress Concentrations / Fatigue of Aircraft Materials
  • Corrosion / American Airlines Flight 191
  • Nondestructive Inspection / Review for Final Exam

Learning Outcome

  • Analyze the mechanical and structural factors which produce accidents including design, construction, manufacturing, repair, and maintenance.
  • Differentiate between the commonly used structural materials in aircraft construction and be able to determine applicability to design criteria.
  • Analyze typical air loads on an airplane in order to calculate external design loads, limit loads, and ultimate limit loads.
  • Calculate the internal bending, tension, compression, torsion, shear and combined stresses and strains on various aircraft components, given their external loads.
  • Identify and compare different types of structural failure modes in order to determine how a structure might have failed.
  • Examine current maintenance procedures and practices, focusing on the problem areas in both commercial and general aviation, and how they contribute to structural or mechanical failures.
  • Identify and explain structural and mechanical design factors as they apply to airworthiness and crashworthiness.
  • Analyze an in-flight breakup in order to determine sequence of failure, as well as primary and secondary failures.
  • Describe advanced structural materials used in the construction of aircraft, such as composites, and be able to determine and analyze failure modes.
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