Design and Performance of Mission-Adaptable Aircraft Manufacturing

9 October 2015
12:00 pm
Design and Performance of Mission-Adaptable Aircraft Manufacturing
Tony Tao
Graduate Student, MIT International Center for Air Transportation

In conventional aircraft design and manufacturing, aircraft are optimized to satisfy mission specifications and manufactured using custom-built tooling. This “vehicle-focused” production strategy is inflexible in the sense that a given set of tooling cannot produce aircraft to satisfy new mission specifications. An alternative, Adaptable Aircraft Manufacturing Concept, is proposed. In this method, various features of conventional composite-molded manufacturing, geometric similarities between vehicle components at different sizes, and basic aircraft proportions may be leveraged to generate tooling capable of producing aircraft of different performance spaces with much greater expediency than is possible with conventional approaches. The design of such a system, however, requires the consideration of not only vehicle performance but also multi-vehicle performance space and utility robustness. This presentation will cover the current efforts to optimize adaptable tooling as well as preliminary results as to its effectiveness.