1871. Technical Logical Forecase of VTOL Weight Empty Fraction in the Year 2020


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J E MacLennan: 1871. Technical Logical Forecase of VTOL Weight Empty Fraction in the Year 2020. 1989.



Keeping the weight empty to gross weight ratio (referred to hereinafter as weight empty fraction) as low as possible is one of the most important factors in creating an operationally efficient vehicle as far as load carrying activities or time on station is concerned. Historically, new technology weight reduction benefits have allowed improved aircraft attributes and mission capabilities while maintaining a fairly constant weight empty fraction. Obviously, aircraft analysts and designers need to know the trend of weight empty fraction versus time and to understand the factors which cause this trend. More interesting would be the ability to predict weight empty fraction ten or more years in the future. Will the fraction remain at its present value, where it has stayed for the past twenty years, or will a new curve develop? Are enough weight saving technologies available to offset the trend of ever increasingly more stringent aircraft requirements? Some of the emerging technologies influencing VTOL design are the all glass cockpit, bearingless main rotor, composite airframes. digital optical flight control systems, improved drive systems, innovative anti-torque systems, and advanced technology engines. Offsetting the weight benefits of some of these technologies are the requirements for radar/laser warning, nuclear hardening, improved maintainability, low observability, increased agility, NBC protection, and target identification under all weather conditions.


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