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Fail‐Safe vs. Safe‐Life Philosophy in V/STOL Design

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V/STOL aircraft combine the technological features of rigid‐wing and rotary‐wing aircraft, incorporating many of the structural features of helicopters. A review indicates that structures analysts of conventional aircraft have concentrated on fail‐safe design; while helicopter design engineers have generally been content to rely on component safe‐life design. The two philosophies are examined and an approach to the rational marriage of helicopter and airplane fatigue technologies is suggested, in order to provide an integrated, economically feasible, statistically rational combination of fail‐safe and safe‐life methodology for tilt‐wing and tilt‐rotor V/STOL aircraft.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Boeing Company, Vertol Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Publication date: October 1, 1969

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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    Authors can find submission guidelines and related information on the AHS website.


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