A Conceptual Wing-box Weight Estimation Model for Transport Aircraft

RM Ajaj, MI Friswell (Swansea University), D Smith (University of Bristol) & AT Isikveren (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., Germany)

The Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 117, No. 1191, May 2013, paper number 3796, pp. 533-551.


This paper presents an overview of an advanced, conceptual wing-box weight estimation and sizing model for transport aircraft. The model is based on linear thin-walled beam theory, where the wing-box is modelled as a simple, swept tapered multi-element beam. It consists of three coupled modules: sizing, aeroelastic analysis, and weight prediction. The sizing module performs generic wing-box sizing using a multi-element strategy. Three design cases are considered for each wing-box element. The aeroelastic analysis module accounts for static aeroelastic requirements and estimates their impact on the wing-box sizing. The weight prediction module estimates the wing-box weight based on the sizing process, including static aeroelastic requirements. The breakdown of the models into modules increases its flexibility for future enhancements to cover complex wing geometries and advanced aerospace materials. The model has been validated using five different transport aircraft. It has shown to be sufficiently robust, yielding an error bandwidth of ±3%, an average error estimate of -0.2%, and a standard error estimate of 1.5%.

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This material has been published in the The Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 117, No. 1191, May 2013, paper number 3796, pp. 533-551, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Link to paper using doi: 10.1017/S0001924000008174

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The Aeronautical Journal