The fuselage is a main assembly of an aircraft. It connects all the other components of an aircraft, such as the structure and the tail, the nose gear and if it is not on the wings, and the main landing gear. The fuselage contains the cockpit and space for passengers and payload. Typically, parts of the fuel, lubricants and ventilation and air conditioning are housed in the fuselage.
The fuselage is manufactured in different external forms. The outer shape also depends on the intended use. For freight non-pressurized airplanes often a rectangular cross-section is used for better loading possibilities. For passenger aircraft, which generally have a pressure- ventilated cabin, however, a round or oval cross-section is due to the better distribution of forces are used. By declining in altitude and the constant external pressure by the pressure cabin pressure, the hull must stress from the pressure difference of about 0.7 bar to withstand. Since the body contributes significantly to the overall resistance of an aircraft to carry out an aerodynamic shape is particularly important. The transition from the fuselage to the supporting structure, especially the wings, called hull - surface transition. This plays a major role in the aerodynamic quality of an airplane.
For small aircraft so far, the supporting structure has been provided with an outer skin, state of the art is also here the complete hull as monocoque, ie as supporting shell, mainly build in plastic construction.
Fuselages consisting primarily at the beginning of aviation made of wooden slats or pipe racks as a supporting structure, which was covered with cloth. With further increase in speed and strength requirements, the hulls were planked later with metal, but the supporting structure has been preserved. From 1930 onwards were first constructed by Dornier aircraft fuselages self-supporting shell construction for weight reduction. The rump skin is in this case integrated as a structural element, it is reinforced by frame elements in the molding cross-section and in the longitudinal direction by stringers. The modern passenger aircraft use this design. For windows and doors special reinforcements have to be grown.
Today, the trend to lighter materials goes. In addition to aluminum, more and more newly developed aluminum -lithium alloys and composite materials and combinations come out of it (glass fiber reinforced aluminum ) are used. Their advantage lies in the high -integration and lightweight potentials. The main joining process is still the rivets. However, it is increasingly being replaced by bonding and laser welding in the new aircraft development.
A so-called routes ( extension ), as well as shortening the fuselage is in the redesign and development of commercial aircraft intended from the outset to offer various transport capacity. From a basic version starting to be offered to the customer versions to meet its needs with extended or shortened fuselage. Examples are the various versions of the Airbus A340 or the Boeing 737, but also the type Airbus A318, Airbus A319 and Airbus A321 originating from the basic pattern Airbus A320. Here are economically matched to each other due to modular construction and the wings and engines.