2200. STOVL Aircraft Weight Evaluation


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A R Yackle: 2200. STOVL Aircraft Weight Evaluation. 1994.



Payload capability of a vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft depends to a large extent on the operational concept. When a V/STOL is designed primarily for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), the aircraft is appreciably larger heavier, and more costly than a carrier based conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft even though the VTOL aircraft is no longer required to withstand catapult and arrested loads. However, weight penalties associated with carrier operation can be reduced significantly by operating routinely in a short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) mode. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the use of weight comparisons in evaluating STOVL aircraft concepts. In conceptual design, weight comparisons between aircraft of similar mission performance is one of the more important criteria for selecting a practical concept. Also, weight empty is the primary parameter for estimating costs. A weight evaluation technique is illustrated in this paper by comparing the weight penalties of conventional carrier based CTOL aircraft with the weight penalties of STOVL aircraft. To assist in this comparison, a simplified expression for ”weight growth factor” is employed. Subjects of this paper are presented in three (:3) parts: 1. History of V/STOL leading toward STOVL is summarized. 2. Existing carrier based CTOL aircraft weight penalty is identified. 3. Weight comparisons of both supersonic and subsonic STOVL aircraft for carrier operation is summarized.


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