Composite Aircraft Life Cycle Cost Estimating Model
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Composite materials are beginning to comprise a greater percentage of structural materials used throughout aircraft production. The increased usage of composites has led individuals within the Air Force community to revisit aircraft life cycle cost, LCC, models. A series of affordability initiatives has culminated in significant evidence over the last decade to better quantify the impact of primarily composite structures in aircraft. The Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft, ACCA, a research effort sponsored by the Air Force Research Lab, attempted to determine the impact of part size and large scale composite components on LCC for cargo aircraft. This research evaluates the data provided by the ACCA program and data from aerospace industry partners to modify the existing LCC models. This research finds that a relationship exists between relative part count and touch labor hours for certain cost categories, notably, design, design support, and testing. In particular, a percentage reduction in part count drives a corresponding percentage reduction in these select cost categories. These findings suggest that reduction in part count filter through most of the major cost categories during development and production. The research findings suggest that the current LCC models require modifications in the current cost estimating relationships to capture these impacts.
- Laminates and Composite Materials
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology