Military Airframe Costs: The Effects of Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes
Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2001
Category: Aerospace Engineering
This particular volume forms a supplement to the earlier Aircraft Airframe Cost Estimating Relationships, by R.W. Hess and H.P. Romanoff, providing a turn-of-the-century update for estimating the cost of various airframe materials. Included in this summary are the relative costs of aluminum alloy (the baseline material), aluminum-lithium alloy, titanium, steel, and three composite materials (graphite epoxy, graphite BMI, and graphite thermoplastic). The cost impact of designing for each material is broken out by non-recurring engineering, non-recurring tooling, recurring engineering, recurring tooling, recurring manufacturing, and recurring quality control.
Relative to the earlier work by Hess and Romanoff, Military Airframe Costs is more narrowly focused. It is also, however, better organized and more easily readable, with the addition of figures, tables and graphs to supplement the text. Still not inspired reading, but an important part of conceptual and preliminary aircraft design, and an essential element for understanding trends in aircraft development.