3791. Reverse Engineering the Mass Properties of a Civil Aviation Aircraft


SAWE Members get a $200 store credit each year.*

Become a SAWE Member

*Store credit coupon available at checkout, click the button in your shopping cart to apply the coupon.
Not applicable to SAWE textbooks and current conference technical papers.


Darrin McCloud: 3791. Reverse Engineering the Mass Properties of a Civil Aviation Aircraft. 2023.



In Mid-2017 I started my first project taking a certified civilian aircraft and turning it into a special mission aircraft while working in a small consultant company. This was not a small project, it involved numerous airframes and significant aerodynamic and secondary structural modifications in addition to a completely new cabin layout with equipment installed throughout the cabin. This project was being run and integrated by a large, well known US company, but they subcontracted out the aircraft portion, including structural modifications and certification to a smaller Modification Center company. Due to contract issues, the Original Manufacturer (OEM) would not be supporting any of the modification efforts. My company, which specializes in static and dynamic loads certification, was subcontracted for Loads certification and would need to have complete aerodynamic and mass properties data for both the standard and modified aircraft to be able to show compliance with all the applicable Federal Airworthiness Regulations (FARs). As the sole mass properties engineer on the program, I would be entirely responsible for creating detailed mass properties for an aircraft while only using the paperwork that comes with a customer aircraft and any public information available on the internet or in print. This paper will document the system that was devised, and has continued to be used on numerous other projects, where detailed mass properties data is needed for customer certification issues without the benefit of any OEM engineering reports.


SKU: Paper3791 Category: