Aircraft Design Milestone

I found something good when I was reading my final assessment log book. It is something that may improve a bit your knowledge about basic aircraft design. It is the step of making an aircraft start from zero.

First, we should make a design requirement and objectives. The result of this phase is reference documents for next phases. Then, we go to preliminary design phase. In this phase, we should do the sizing and analyzing the aircraft and its components, making a configuration definition, development and verification documents, load development, economical analyzing, and GO NO GO decision (because making an aircraft is not a cheap one!)

After the preliminary design phase has been stated, we can start the detailed design phase. The output of this phase are detailed drawing, included the part and integration drawing,  detailed part analysis, detailed structural analysis, detailed system definition, and detailed part weight accounting.

After everything about design has been freeze, we must procure the material. This phase called material procurement phase. And the last we can go to the manufacturing phase.

In a short way, making an aircraft could be written down in a design milestone below (words after the arrow are outputs):

1. Design requirement and objectives -> Reference documents

  • Aircraft requirement (range, payload, speed, take off – landing, balance field length, etc)
  • Airworthiness requirement (follow the requirement from authority such as FAR, JAR, CASR, etc)
  • Engine manufacturer requirements (availability, time, power need, etc)
  • Customer requirements (contract, price, delivery time, amount to be delivered, etc)

2. Preliminary design phase -> Document analysis

  • Sizing and analyzing
  • Configuration definition, development and verification
  • Load development and analysis
  • Economical analysis
  • GO NO GO decision

3. Detailed design phase -> Drawing

  • Detailed part and integration drawing
  • Detailed part analysis
  • Detailed structural analysis
  • Detailed system definition
  • Detailed part weight accounting

4. Material procurement phase -> List of material that will be used and vendor items

  • Vendor contacts (request for proposal for vendor items)
  • Vendor evaluation (documents, visits, cost, delivery and lead time)
  • Vendor selection
  • Vendor items procurement

5. Manufacturing phase

  • Tooling and design fabrication

Those steps won’t take a short time. We need about years to make an aircraft from zero up to production. But, there’s nothing impossible if we believe and try to make it come true, isn’t it? J


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