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Aircraft conceptual design methods
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Fluid and Mechanical Engineering Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Generally aircraft conceptual design is defined as the starting point for concept sketcing and evaluation, but before that work can start an even earlier stage has to be covered.

This is the stage where different scenarios are being worked through in which the aircraft as a platform is supposed to work. The scenarios will differ between civil and military use of course. but will have to fit well inside both customers and manufacturers strategic plans for the future.

In planning for the future it's vital to think and plan in broader terms, i.e. not only creating single products but rather create families of aircraft. This way of thinking and planning is usual amongst civil manufacturers. Creating a family based product line means better economics, better market coverage and of course lesser risk taking if and when the market changes. On the military side this way of thinking and planning is still quite unusual, mainly because customers are governments which usually only ask for single products.

The manufacturer from his point of view must think differently, he needs to spread his risk taking, especially as orders from the govemment are becoming scarcer. Therefore a modular product line would be of economic interest and would probably interest more customers.

The basic idea behind Saab Gripen (three roles merged into one single platform), or the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) idea of a modular aircraft, could be seen as the start of some kind of new family planning, but family planning on the military side could reach further than that. Probably military manufacturers can learn a lot from their civil counterparts.

Conceptual design might be a one man job in the early stages, but will very soon develop into team work. This development is only natural since the conceptual designer can't be expected to have detailed knowledge or experience which will cover every item. Conceptual design introduces a holistic viewpoint into the aircraft design process and it's vital to keep this viewpoint as long as possible. This becomes even more important over time, since the more detailed the project gets, the overall goal tends to drown into details.

Conceptual design phase offers the only occasion when design changes still can be made quite easily. Design freeze is not only a simple freeze of aircraft layout and geometry, it also sets the fmal prize tag on the aircraft. So in a way it is what you did (and what you forgot to do) in the conceptual design phase which fmally decides the faith of the end product. Hence conceptual design needs all the time it takes to be able to develop successful future products.

Generally there are two sides to conceptual design: either you develop a brand new design or make changes to an already existing one. Either way has its own needs and can't be run in the same manner, since different tools are needed in both cases. A new design needs a good conceptual design program, while in the latter case only minor parts of it might be used. A new design starts off fresh; everything is possible and nothing is sacred, but changing on an existing design means working with hands tied, you do not change things that easily.

Aircraft Conceptual Design takes long time to learn. It requires more than just being able to run a conceptual design program. Previous experience in a number of different aircraft design disciplines is a must; so is the ability to be able to humbly listen to experienced people's knowledge and advice.

This paper describes methods for aircraft conceptual design at two basic levels. At the top level there's a method described for conceptual design of civil jet transport aircraft.

On the second level different methods for conceptual design of core aircraft systems such as landing gear, environmental control and hydraulic are presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2005. , 72 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1197
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31439Local ID: 17222ISBN: 91-85457-32-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-31439DiVA: diva2:252262
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-07
List of papers
1. The Sunriser - A Design Study in Solar Powered Flight
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Sunriser - A Design Study in Solar Powered Flight
2000 (English)In: SAE Technical Paper 2000-01-5507, 2000Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The design task for last year students in Aircraft Design at Linköping University was to design a manned solar-powered aircraft. The mission was to survey the U.S./Mexican borderline in search for possible intruders. The Sunriser began as a sole paper project, but quite soon we felt a need to prove that solar-powered flight really was feasible. Thus the decision was made to design and build a solar powered demonstrator of our own design.

The demonstrator aircraft, a radio controlled model aircraft named "the Sunrazor," was designed, built and flown with good result.

This paper deals with the basic theory of sun-powered flight and describes the basic thoughts and design considerations which finally led to the configurations chosen.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35265 (URN)10.4271/2000-01-5507 (DOI)26023 (Local ID)26023 (Archive number)26023 (OAI)
Conference
2000 World aviation Congress, San Diego, California, October, 2000
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-11-07
2. Landing Gear Design in the Conceptual Design Phase
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Landing Gear Design in the Conceptual Design Phase
1999 (English)In: SAE Technical Paper 1999-01-5523, 1999Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A well-designed landing gear and a proper integration is of utmost importance for the success of any aircraft design. This should never be neglected but often is, especially in the conceptual design stage. This paper reflects the author''s own experience in landing gear design of the Saab Gripen aircraft as well as experience gained on aircraft conceptual designs of later dates. The aim of the paper is to underline the importance of spending more time on landing gear design and integration in conceptual design. The paper reflects the importance of proper interaction between landing gear design and other disciplines and above all underlines the fact that landing gear design should be treated as an equally important design parameter, just as any other, in the final choice of aircraft configuration.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100442 (URN)10.4271/1999-01-5523 (DOI)
Conference
1999 World aviation Congress, San Fransisco, California, October, 1999
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2013-11-07
3. Sizing the Landing Gear in the Conceptual Design Phase
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sizing the Landing Gear in the Conceptual Design Phase
2000 (English)In: SAE Technical Paper 2000-01-5601, 2000Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

   

A tool has been developed in order to design or evaluate a proposed landing gear layout and to determine its size and weight. The methodology has been developed primarily for landing gears of the telescopic suspension type.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35273 (URN)10.4271/2000-01-5601 (DOI)26049 (Local ID)26049 (Archive number)26049 (OAI)
Conference
2000 World aviation Congress, San Diego, California, October, 2000
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-11-07
4. Conceptual Design of a New Generation JAS 39 Gripen Aircraft
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptual Design of a New Generation JAS 39 Gripen Aircraft
2006 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes the conceptual phase of a modification proposal for Saab Gripen, which aims to create the best possible basis for future aircraft development. One of the main tasks in this respect is to investigate different means to extend range. This paper describes the technical outcome from the concept generation, concept selection, and concept refinement at system and airframe level. The chosen concept involves relocation and redesign of the main landing gear. The original main landing gear bay is converted into fuel tanks. The relocation of the main gear enables a new ventral twin store carriage with supersonic jettison capability to be introduced. The concept proposal yields the following improvements:

· Increased range due to increased fuel capability

· Increased maximum allowed takeoff weight due to beefe d-up main gear

· Increased weapon flexibility and capability due to introduction of two new ventral store

· Introducing supersonic jettison capability

The paper also includes a description of how the work is related to the overall design process in general and the conceptual phase in particular, as described in design methodology literature.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12980 (URN)10.2514/6.2006-31 (DOI)
Conference
44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, USA
Available from: 2008-04-01 Created: 2008-04-01 Last updated: 2013-11-07

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