Analysis of Potential Structural Design Modifications for the Tail Section of the RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The Army RAH-66 Comanche Helicopter made its first flight in January of 1996. Its current structural configuration, however does not meet the Armys requirements for radar signature. Structural configurations of the tailcone that meet radar cross-section requirements tend to lack sufficient structural stiffness due to the presence of Kevlar in place of graphite on the outer mold line. This thesis investigates potential structural design modifications to the Comanche tailcone that would move the design closer to meeting both its structural and radar signature requirements. Geometry modifications with baseline current configuration materials increased torsional stiffness by nine percent. Structural geometry modifications using radar signature compliant materials reduced torsional stiffness by 10 percent. The geometry changes analyzed produce structural performance improvements insufficient to allow the use of radar-compliant materials without further geometry changes.