906. S-3A Weight Control Program


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F Johnson: 906. S-3A Weight Control Program. 1972.



The first S-3A has met its guaranteed weight. The weight control program which accomplished this was a highly disciplined, flexible effort balancing weight control against cost and schedule performance. This paper presents a detailed description and critique of the methods employed.
The basic program requirements were an accurate measure of program weight status, complete visibility of the effect of pending changes and a rapid but orderly decision process which considered cost and total program effect .
The primary tools employed were target weights controlled to the designer level, weight reduction reviews of each engineering job, vendor weight guarantee clauses, a hierarchy of weight control decision meetings, and cost recognition of each significant weight reduction proposal. Other significant program features were the use of a ‘value of the pound’, mandatory weight engineering signature for drawing release, weekly weight and cost status reports, and short span highly intensified programs to cope with special problem areas. Avionics equipment weight was controlled by a program employing avionics engineers as weight specialists.
To enable program comparisons, a brief airplane characteristics summary, weight breakdown by function and contractor responsibility, and organizational description are included. Weight control program history is traced from go-ahead to first weighing in terms of percentage of released drawings calculated or parts actually weighed. The paper is concluded with a critique of principal methods and a position on why the program was successful.


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