Davies, Glyn A. O. Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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The process of designing an aircraft. All new aircraft designs (Fig. 1) 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 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 that supports the armed services, but again consultations are undertaken because 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. See also: Aircraft; Airplane; Airship; Helicopter
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