2418. Mass Properties Process Improvements


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W McKeighan, M Vanderpool, T Reed, P Chronister, D Kemp, S Jones, J Vanscyoc, M A Tice: 2418. Mass Properties Process Improvements. 1998.



In the course of the last two years the weight and balance group has initiated several process improvement projects with the object in mind of reducing response time and improving the quality of the data which we supply to our customers. This paper discusses four of these projects. The first is a function developed on CATIA which automates distribution of mass properties by section for solid models of individual aircraft parts, which is one of our most time consuming tasks. This function splits solid models along section boundaries and transports the resultant data to a UNIX file for further processing. The second improvement is a CATIA function which determines fuel mass properties and the associated fuel burn curve from a CATIA solid model of the fuel tank. Process improvement number three is a program which calculates avionics and electrical system wire bundle weights by developing CATIA solid models which use splines representing the routing which these wire bundles take through the aircraft. The program extracts the wire type and quantity from the desired wiring schematic model located in a PROCADAM file and adjusts the density of the CATIA solid models proportionately, yielding distributed mass properties. These three improvements are the result of a collaborative effort between the weight and balance group and computer support group. The final project is a program run on Microsoft Excel which streamlines the process of creating preliminary aircraft loading profiles. As requests for these studies proliferated, the demand became apparent for a mechanism that would allow marketing personnel to run scenarios for various loading and optional equipment selections, and demonstrate the feasibility of loading the resultant aircraft for specified missions. This program is a response to that demand.


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