2169. Advanced Finite Element Weight Estimation Process on the High Speed Civil Transport


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P M Mitchell: 2169. Advanced Finite Element Weight Estimation Process on the High Speed Civil Transport. 1993.



Finite element analysis is a useful tool for airplane preliminary design and configuration analysis. Analyzing a finite element model which represents a complete aircraft configuration requires the participation of many engineering disciplines. Among these are aerodynamics, stress, design, configurations, loads, flutter, and weights. The Boeing weight engineering organization has developed a set of advanced tools for analysis of finite element mass properties. A process which integrated these tools into a multi-disciplinary finite element analysis environment was created and is being used on the High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT). This paper details the process used and briefly describes the computing tools and environment used in the finite element weight analysis. Emphasis is placed on one portion of the process, specifically, the weight estimation of primary structure which is undergoing optimization with finite element analysis. The Algorithmic Mass Factoring Method (AM-FM) is an advanced software tool which allows weight estimation of primary structure which is based on design requirements, material allowables, and manufacturing practices. Furthermore, this tool provides visibility for weight changes to the finite element model as a result of structural optimization cycling. The modeling and analysis process used on the HSCT was based on strong inter-disciplinary cooperation. The process required the weights group to be active in virtually every aspect of the team effort, from model definition to trade study completion. The tools and processes detailed in this paper represent the state of the art for finite element mass properties analysis for weight engineering at Boeing.


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