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What is correct for fail safe designed structural components?

1. There is more than one load carrying component
2. One load carrying component is sufficient, provided it is strong enough
3. The component is removed at the end of the calculated life time or number of cycles
4. The design is based on the principle of redundancy of components

  • A
    1 and 3.
  • B
    1 and 4.
  • C
    2 and 3.
  • D
    2 and 4.

Structural design concepts are developed to ensure safe operation of aircraft components.

The Safe-life philosophy indicates that a component in the aircraft has a given time period or life cycle that it should withstand without any failure. The life of such a structure can be defined in different ways, cycles, flight hours, pressurization events or calendar time. The Safe-life philosophy requires parts to be replaced at the end of their specified life, regardless of their condition.

A Fail-safe structural element is designed so that the part distributes the load in a way that it goes through multiple load paths. This means that in the case of a crack in the structural element appearing, the rest of the structure is still able to withstand the prescribed loads for a limited amount of time until the crack is detected by maintenance and the element replaced. This principle is called redundancy.

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