Modal Analysis of a Wing Using Ansys Workbench

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Aircraft wings experience vibrations due to aerodynamic forces, atmospheric turbulence, and flow shocks during aircraft takeoff, cruising, landing. Other sources of vibration include vibrations from the engine and gearbox. Excessive vibration of the wing can cause a catastrophic failure that, more often than not, leads to loss of life or property. It is, therefore, extremely critical to understand these vibrations during the design phase of the aircraft. When designing any system, it is important to have a sound knowledge of its naturally excited vibration frequency. If the structure experiences an external vibration in the range of its natural frequency, it creates resonance, and the external frequency is called the resonant frequency. At resonant frequencies, the structure tends to respond with a larger amplitude, which may turn into violent swaying that can cause a  catastrophic failure. To avoid resonance, it is important to design the wing such that the natural frequency of the wing does not match the external frequencies of vibrations.

This SimCafe Structural Course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Benjamin J Mullen, in partnership with Ansys. It was last modified by Sebastien Lachance-Barrett. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. Using the following course, you will learn to perform the modal analysis of a wing and estimate the first 6 modes of vibration in Ansys Workbench.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here:

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