Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

David Liu, PhD.


A Topology Optimization (TO) was conducted on an aircraft wing in order to mathematically determine an ideal structural case for future aircraft. TO generally involves iteratively reducing individual elemental density until the desired mass or volume constraint is met. Two different TO styles where approached: a global three-dimensional concept and a more traditional two-dimensional rib and spar optimization which more closely mimics the baseline model. All optimizations were compared against a baseline wing for von-Mises stress, displacement, and buckling. The objective of this research was to develop a design procedure maintaining the baseline structural integrity of the wing while reducing weight. As with many TO designs, Additive Manufacturing (AM) was studied as a means to produce the wing concerning both the feasibility of manufacture and as a logistical advantage compared to traditional means. Additionally, a fuel tank was integrated into the wing structure as a proof-of-concept for the potential benefits of AM. Finally, a 3D lattice structure was utilized as a conceptual method for improving current design methodology.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number