Photo shows shell buckling glider wings while glider makes hard banked turn

Welcome to the shell buckling website by David and Bill Bushnell. Shown here is local buckling of the top surfaces of the wings of a glider. The top surfaces are like thin cylindrical shells under axial (span-wise) compression. The axial compression is largest near the roots of the wings and exists because the wings, clamped at their roots, are bent “upward” (toward the viewer) as the glider makes a tight turn around the peak of a nearby mountain from which this photograph was taken. The wings in their locally post-buckled state do not fail catastrophically because there exist strong internal spars that remain intact (unbuckled). (Photograph by Connie Indrebo of Crazy Creek Air Adventures, Middletown, California.)

How to Navigate this "shell buckling" web site

There are several buttons in the left pane. You can click on them in any order.

Buckled Shells
  • See examples of buckled shells and shell structures that can buckle.
  • Download a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation showing buckled shells.
  • Download a paper, "Buckling of shells – Pitfall for designers".
Shell Buckling Comments
  • View a slideshow that illustrates concepts in shell buckling.
  • Download a document that explains what buckling is and that gives advice.
Imperfection Sensitivity
  • View a slideshow that illustrates various degrees of how sensitive failure loads are to small imperfections in shell and plate structures.
  • Download a document on the effects of shell imperfections on buckling loads.
Shell Buckling Bibliography
  • Download an extensive bibliography on shell buckling.
  • Download selected survey papers on shell buckling.
Shell Buckling People
  • Download one or more Curricula Vitae (CV) of researchers in the shell buckling field. If you want to add your CV with a high-quality portrait to "Buckling People", please email it to . Make sure to include a good quality, recent photo of yourself. Dr. Bushnell will then add your CV and portrait to "Buckling People" so that website visitors interested in buckling of shells can learn who the players are in this field of research.
Other Buckling Images
  • Please see buckling images contributed by other website visitors. To contribute your own images to this collection, please email them to along with a description and credit. Please send only images for which the copyright allows non-commercial distribution.
Shell Buckling Links
  • Find links to external websites that discuss buckling or other closely-related fields. If you would like your website linked from please email the link to .
Photo of Bill Bushnell, Mt. Dana, David Bushnell from Gaylor Peak, California

Bill Bushnell (left, Webmaster) and David Bushnell (Website creator) stand atop Gaylor Peak, California (11,006ft, 3355m). Mt. Dana (13,053ft, 3979m) rises in the background. (2005)