A conical shell subjected to uniform internal pressure is analysed by the finite element displacement method. The end conditions considered are clamped-clamped (CC), small end clamped-big end free (CF), and small end free-and big end clamped (FC). The semi cone angles considered are (α=) 30, 45 and 60°. It is shown that by properly varying the thickness the deflections and stresses can be brought down considerably. The results are presented in the form of graphs and tables. © 1991.