1452. Theory of Transport Aircraft Weight Fractions


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D P Marsh: 1452. Theory of Transport Aircraft Weight Fractions. 1982.



Weight fractions are important as a comparative weight analysis tool, and are used to prepare early weight estimates for feasibility studies, especially where a large number of configurations need to be screened but only a minimum amount of design data are available. Weight fractions concern fractions of gross weight such as the ratio of empty weight to takeoff gross weight (TOGW), of payload weight to TOGW, or of fuel weight to TOGW, but because they are seemingly simple, they are often misinterpreted. Common oversights in using these fractions include inconsistent definitions of payload and inattention to aircraft range. In order to facilitate the understanding of weight fractions, this paper treats their significance and development.
The paper presents a thorough foundation in the basic fundamentals of weight fractions, including their purpose, their characteristics, how and why they vary, and how they can be correlated. It concludes with the weight fraction correlations for various types of current transport aircraft. A sequel to this paper on applications of transport aircraft weight fractions will present the fundamentals of using weight fractions, including their interpretation, perturbation, accuracy, and application in estimating and comparing aircraft weights.


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