SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Reliability Centered Maintenance for Metallic Airframes Based on a Stochastic Crack Growth Approach


A Reliability Centered Maintenance Analysis (RCMA) method for determining structural inspection requirements, in terms of risk, is proposed for metallic airframes. Preventive maintenance tasks and inspection options can be evaluated using this method to ensure the operational readiness of airframes against the consequences of fatigue crack growth accumulation. The RCMA method, based on a stochastic crack growth approach (SCGA), can be implemented using: (1) deterministic crack growth analysis results, (2) an estimate of the crack growth life dispersion, (3) allowable risk rate, and (4) an estimate of the probability of a Class A mishap. It accounts for material properties, cracking resistance, stress level, load spectra usage variations, etc. Essential elements of the RCMA method are described and discussed. The RCMA is demonstrated for a structural control area from a full-scale metallic aircraft. RCMA results—their meaning, implications, and practical applications—are discussed in terms of current Air Force Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) requirements.

Author Information

Manning, SD
General Dynamics/Fort Worth Division, Fort Worth, TX
Yang, JN
University of California, Irvine, CA
Pretzer, FL
General Dynamics/Fort Worth Division, Fort Worth, TX
Marler, JE
General Dynamics/Fort Worth Division, Fort Worth, TX
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 422–434
DOI: 10.1520/STP24172S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5185-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1423-4