The fuselage, along with the wings, tail, cockpit, and landing gear, is one of the main components of the average aircraft. It is the large outer shell that serves as the main body of an aircraft. It features a hollow interior wherein the seats and other equipment is housed. The fuselage acts only as the outer shell of the aircraft body. On the sides of the fuselage you will find the wings, the front contains the cockpit, and the tail is at the rear. These features, as well as the landing gear, comprise the basic components of the average aircraft.
As the fuselage serves as the outer shell of the aircraft, it is exposed to a great deal of stresses. As such, it must be made from strong and durable materials. If the fuselage became breached, it could result in the cabin losing air pressure, creating a dangerous environment for all those aboard. Not only does loss of cabin pressure cause oxygen levels to drop, they can also cause the aircraft to lose control.
There are many different types of fuselage, each characterized by a different construction. For example, truss fuselages are made from welded metal tubes. Fuselages of this type are lightweight and relatively inexpensive despite offering high levels of strength and durability. Another type of fuselage, Geodesic fuselages, are made by the use of strip stringers to create a basket-like construction. They are designed to withstand localized structural damage without affecting the integrity of the remainder of the fuselage. Aside from truss and geodesic, other types of fuselages include monocoque and semi-monocoque.
While there are exceptions, the vast majority of aircraft fuselages are made from aluminum. It is a strong and lightweight material that is naturally resistant to rust. These make it an ideal choice for many aircraft components in addition to the fuselage. However, composite fuselages, which are often stronger and more resistant to corrosion, have become increasingly popular.
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