Reliability, maintainability and development cost implications of variable camber wings
A computer assisted conceptual aircraft design methodology (CACAD) has been developed to size turbofan powered transport aircraft. New modules for predicting the maintenance costs of each airframe system and subsection of structure, were developed and incorporated into CACAD. Many aspects of variable camber wing technology (VCW) were modelled. These included different types of drag saving due to chordwise, as well as spanwise camber variation. Models were also derived for mass, maintenance cost, and extra development cost increments for wing trailing edge devices, flight control, and hydraulic systems. These were incorporated into CACAD, and then a multidisciplinary trade-off study resulted in predicted savings of up to 3.5% in direct operating cost (DOC). The technology was evaluated for DOC improvement against a number of existing, future, and derivative aircraft, under different sensitivity conditions. Reliability, maintainability, and development (R, M&D) predictions were shown to be decisive in determining the feasibility of VCW technology. The study showed that long range, low to medium capacity, derivative aircraft are the most suitable applications for VCW technology.(Author abstract)
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