The fuselage is a term commonly referred to when discussing airplane talk. It refers to the middle section of an aircraft. It’s the section that holds passengers, crew, and cargo. The fuselage also helps to control and stabilize an aircraft in relation to lifting surfaces.
Fuselage Structure Types
On average, there are four main types of fuselage body types.
Truss Structure – Typically found in lightweight aircraft designs, this style is constructed using welded tube trusses. Sometimes, these trusses may be constructed out of wood and then covered in plywood. The more simple designs may also be rounded by the addition of supported lightweight stringers. Stringers are another common term used during airplane talk. They’re simply strengthening bars. These allow the fabric covering the trusses to appear more rounded and aerodynamic.
Geodesic Construction – This style was most prominent during the World Wars. This structure consists of multiple flat strip stringers wound around each other in opposite directions. The end result is a basket-like appearance. This design is rigid, strong, and protective. It also has the advantage of being mostly constructed from wood.
Monocoque Shell – This structure is the primary structure of the aircraft. This design was originally crafted out of molded plywood. More recently constructed out of a fibreglass, polyester, and resin blend, this structure requires more work than the previously mentioned two.
Semi-Monocoque Shell – Used mostly for large commercial airliners, a semi-monocoque design consists of a series of aluminum bars that act as ribs. They are connected by stringers and then covered with aluminum. Due to it’s size, this type of fuselage is built in sections and then assembled together.