8Configuring Aircraft – Concept Definition

8.1 Overview

Part II of this book is devoted to configuring aircraft, as well as with design considerations of bought‐out items, for example, various kinds of undercarriage, engines, onboard systems with worked‐out examples wherever applicable for readers to practise. This chapter is comprehensive and serves as the basis of aircraft design, along with worked‐out examples.

Note that this chapter only proposes a methodology to arrive at a tentative new aircraft configuration without the undercarriage placed (carried out in Chapter 9) because the aircraft (maximum takeoff weight (MTOW)) and its component weight and centre of gravity (CG) locations are yet to be established (carried out in Chapter 10). Therefore, at least three iterations will be required to finalise the configuration, the first one when the undercarriage is placed to suit takeoff rotational clearance and tipping back angle when a wing may need to be repositioned, the next one when the aircraft CG position is accurately estimated, which may be different from the initial guessed CG position and finally when the aircraft is sized with the matched engine to freeze the aircraft configuration, culminating in the conceptual design phase of a new aircraft project. If the initial guesses of MTOW and CG are far away from the final design, then more than three iterations may be required. Experienced engineers are capable to make good guesses (statistics of past designs help) to keep ...

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