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Fatigue Monitoring in Military Fixed-Wing Aircraft

Aerospace Applications

Full-Scale Aerospace Vehicles

  1. Matthias Buderath

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm126

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Buderath, M. 2009. Fatigue Monitoring in Military Fixed-Wing Aircraft. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. EADS Military Air Systems, Product Support, Ottobrunn, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


This article elaborates on the principles applied in the development of fatigue and usage monitoring systems for military fixed wing aircraft. Various airframe fatigue life monitoring concepts have been applied to the fatigue management of the Tornado aircraft. Experience gained from such aircraft have lead the way for innovative approaches for preceding aircraft such as the Eurofighter and A400M. In these cases the principles of fatigue and usage monitoring are more or less the same but we can see many of improvements in the information fusion, integration, processing, and information management technologies. This is seen as key to manage structural integrity, aircraft/fleet availability, and the reduction of operation and support costs. We have seen that in particular operational availability cannot be dissociated from the related costs going alone with corrective and scheduled maintenance actions. Significant operation and support reductions can only be achieved at aircraft level having a comprehensive view about aircraft, system, and structural performance. The more the information can be integrated into a maintenance information system, the more operational and cost benefit becomes obvious. The next generation of military aircraft will have hopefully a combined usage- and damage monitoring system implemented.


  • fatigue monitoring;
  • usage monitoring;
  • fatigue management;
  • operational loads monitoring;
  • fatigue life monitoring;
  • structural health and usage monitoring