A Review of Flight Intersection Joints
Slender flight vehicles such as launch vehicles and missiles are made of several airframe sections which are connected together using an appropriate intersection joint. These intersection joints help in easy assembly and disassembly of airframe sections for integration, maintenance and operational health checks of configured subsystems within the airframe sections. Several types of intersection joints are commonly adopted in practice and the selection of a particular type depends upon the available volume, geometry, material, size and configuration of the flight airframe sections and the kind of joint stiffness acceptable to the flight. The intersection joints are characterised by the joint compliance and the capability to withstand the flight, transportation and handling loads. This paper attempts to bring out a comprehensive review of these flight intersection joints. This review, in detail, covers the classification of intersection joints, different loads experienced by the joints, and predictive and experimental methods adopted in the determination of joint compliance and its importance in predicting the dynamics of a flight vehicle.
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