Aircraft design

Aircraft design

The design of a series aircraft is often based on that of a predecessor in the same series. This article describes a scientific case study of how to design a series aircraft more efficiently.

Request

Need

Sector
Manufacturing

Aeronautical industry

Design practice
Series aircraft design

Practiced to develop an aircraft as part of a series of aircraft

Advantage
Innovation

Develop a new aircraft as a successor of a certified aircraft

Motivation
Reduce design time

Medior designers need significantly more time to design a series aircraft than senior designers

Ambition
Design a series aircraft more efficiently

Identify what makes senior designers perform better than medior designers, and find out whether that can be taught or transferred otherwise to medior designers

Design performance

Number of issues
2

Based on performance indicators and status reports

Indicator
[Time] Efficiency of senior designers compared to medior designers

Status
Issue

Unit
Number of hours spent by medior designers versus senior designers

Goal
1.5 or less

Reality
2

Indicator
[Cost] Efficiency of senior designers compared to medior designers

Status
Issue

Unit
Amount of euros spent on medior designers versus senior designers

Goal
1.25 or less

Reality
1.5

Assessment

Focus

Area
Design of an extended passenger aircraft with more seats

Chosen as a subject of research

Filter
Essential and scarce knowledge

Here lie the main reasons why senior designers perform significantly better than medior designers

Development objectives

Number of objectives
2

Based on performance issues and a knowledge analysis

Knowledge
[Strategy] Propose and revise an earlier aircraft design

Development objective
Extend

Type
Explicit

Character
Stable

Origin
Empirical

Occurrence
Unique

Knowledge
[Systems] Reuse rationale of an earlier aircraft design

Development objective
Extend

Type
Implicit

Character
Stable

Origin
Empirical

Occurrence
Unique

Advice

Proposal

Number of proposed tasks
2

Based on an assessment

Task
Define how to do a specific design activity

Status
Proposal

Method
Interview senior designers

Actor
Knowledge engineer

Focus
Reuse rationale of an earlier aircraft design

Task
Teach how to design a series aircraft

Status
Proposal

Method
Train medior designers

Actor
Principal designer

Focus
• Propose and revise an earlier aircraft design
• Reuse rationale of an earlier aircraft design

Performance estimates

Number of estimates
2

Based on performance indicators and expected effects of task execution

Indicator
[Time] Efficiency of senior designers compared to medior designers

Status
Estimate

Unit
Number of hours spent by medior designers versus senior designers

Goal
1.5 or less

Plan
1.5

Indicator
[Cost] Efficiency of senior designers compared to medior designers

Status
Estimate

Unit
Amount of euros spent on medior designers versus senior designers

Goal
1.25 or less

Plan
1.25

Background research

Frances Brazier, Pieter van Langen, and Jan Treur (1997). A compositional approach to modelling design rationale. AIEDAM 11, 125-139.