2020. Weight Estimating Guide for Advanced Composites


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J W Burns: 2020. Weight Estimating Guide for Advanced Composites. 1991, (L. R. ‘Mike’ Hackney Award).



During the 1970’s, we began to see limited applications of graphite/epoxy for some aircraft structural components. There were industry wide projections of 20% to 60% weight reduction using graphite/epoxy. Those early predictions were made without full consideration of other factors that must be considered when making preliminary weight estimates for graphite/epoxy structure. The purpose of this paper is to identify most of those items and present specific weight estimating guidelines for some of the design drivers based on data derived from a recent major aircraft program. The data in this paper is presented as a guide and is intended to be used only for a preliminary weight estimate. Design criteria, requirements and operating conditions for various types of vehicles will cause some variations of the data presented in this paper.


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