337. Weight Growth Trends in Civil Aircraft


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S D Dickens: 337. Weight Growth Trends in Civil Aircraft. 1962.



This paper was presented at the Twenty-first Annual National Conference of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers at Seattle, Washington, May 14-17, 1962. The prediction of payload with reasonable accuracy is essential for sound future planning, both in the design stage of an aircraft and later during its operational life.
The forecasting of weight growth within each Company for payload prediction purposes has been based for some time on Company experience, gained in the main from its own limited number of aircraft types. In 1958 it was felt that by pooling the experience of several Companies and analyzing this larger sample, a growth pattern might emerge for all types of aircraft regardless of size, maker or user and that if this pattern lay within reasonable limits, it might be possible to use the results, tentatively perhaps, either for estimating future weight growth or as a yardstick for controlling growth.
The resulting survey was confined to manufacturers and airlines in Europe and on the North American continent, data being supplied by 25 Companies on 33 different aircraft type ranging from the Douglas DC-3 to the Boeing 707. An initial study was carried out in 1959 in which growth in Weight Empty was analyzed separately before and after first delivery for the individual aircraft in the sample. This was followed by an interim study in 1961 which examined (a) the general extent to which the corresponding increases in the limiting weights for each aircraft in the sample helped to offset the growth in Weight Empty, thereby tending to maintain payload capacity and/or range, and (b) the rate of increase in the limiting weights for the various types, commencing with the earliest contract year for each type.
The survey has been extended to include other areas of the world, bringing the total number of contributing Companies to 38 and the number of different aircraft types covered to 45. This final study re-examines the previous finding in the light of the new data obtained.


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