A methodology to estimate the cost implications of design decisions by integrating cost as a design parameter at an early design stage is presented. The model is developed on a hierarchical basis, the manufacturing cost of aircraft fuselage panels being analysed in this paper. The manufacturing cost modelling is original and relies on a genetic-causal method where the drivers of each element of cost are identified relative to the process capability. The cost model is then extended to life cycle costing by computing the Direct Operating Cost as a function of acquisition cost and fuel burn, and coupled with a semi-empirical numerical analysis using Engineering Sciences Data Unit reference data to model the structural integrity of the fuselage shell with regard to material failure and various modes of buckling. The main finding of the paper is that the traditional minimum weight condition is a dated and sub-optimal approach to airframe structural design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering