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This paper describes the application of a statistical model of a cumulative damage index to the problem of determining the number of flights to be monitored in aircraft operational usage programs based on samples of flights. The method can be used to calculate the optimum number of flights to achieve given precision and confidence under stratified sampling. It also provides a method for determining precision at any level of confidence given a sample size. Examples of the use of the techniques are provided using data from the operational usage programs of three aircraft types.
fatigue damage, operational usage, sample size, flight loads, cumulative damage, fatigue tests
Research statistician, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio