1798. Economical Technology Application in Commercial Transport Design


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M L Drake: 1798. Economical Technology Application in Commercial Transport Design. 1987.



Technology application in the development of modern commercial aircraft must meet today’s stringent test of cost effectiveness. The promise of reduced operating costs made possible with new technologies must be balanced with the reality of the up front costs of acquiring these technologies. Simply stated, an airline’s cost of acquiring a technology must not meet or exceed the projected savings. In view of large variations in the world’s costs of money (e.g. interest rates), fuel and labor over the past twenty years, any projection of savings carries a risk when compared with the fixed reality of an aircraft’s purchase price. Today’s operator requires an aircraft that is affordable and will remain that way throughout it’s useful life. Initial purchase price and operational expenses must be reasonable. However, in addition, today’s transport must incorporate the technology that will prevent it from meeting with a premature obsolescence due to changes in the world’s economic condition (e.g. very high fuel costs). In brief, aircraft design today must balance the costs of ownership and operation given any expected world economic condition. This paper will survey a number of aircraft design technologies and examine their appropriateness in view of today’s new requirements.


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