Development Of A Conceptual Design Weight Estimation Method Library And Documentation
Walker, Andrew S.
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The state of the art in estimating the volumetric size and mass of flight vehicles is held today by an elite group of engineers in the Aerospace Conceptual Design Industry. This is not a skill readily accessible or taught in academia. To estimate flight vehicle mass properties, many aerospace engineering students are encouraged to read the latest design textbooks, learn how to use a few basic statistical equations, and plunge into the details of parametric mass properties analysis. Specifications for and a prototype of a standardized engineering "tool-box" of conceptual and preliminary design weight estimation methods were developed to manage the growing and ever-changing body of weight estimation knowledge. This also bridges the gap in Mass Properties education for aerospace engineering students. The Weight Method Library will also be used as a living document for use by future aerospace students. This "tool-box" consists of a weight estimation method bibliography containing unclassified, open-source literature for conceptual and preliminary flight vehicle design phases. Transport aircraft validation cases have been applied to each entry in the AVD Weight Method Library in order to provide a sense of context and applicability to each method. The weight methodology validation results indicate consensus and agreement of the individual methods. This generic specification of a method library will be applicable for use by other disciplines within the AVD Lab, Post-Graduate design labs, or engineering design professionals.