Davies, Glyn A. O. Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Configuration Choices
- Technical requirements
- Economic requirements
- Design Phases
- Conceptual design
- Preliminary design activities
- Detailed design
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The process of designing an aircraft. All new aircraft designs are aimed at a specification that is meant to satisfy potential customers and be better than designs from competitors. In the case of civil aircraft, the manufacturer, of course, undertakes market surveys and consults as many airlines as feasible. Out of these consultations a specification for performance is derived, including many innovations to appeal to airlines and their customers. In the case of military aircraft, the customer is a governmental department of defense, who supports the armed services, but again consultations are undertaken since military aircraft are driven by the need to outperform adversaries and new features can be crucial. The armed services need to appreciate what is technically feasible so that manufacturers' research teams do not have to attempt the impossible. (The U.S. Air Force is unique in having its own design organization capable of making modifications.)
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