Engine manufacturers and system engineering companies are looking for solutions that can deliver reliable estimates on components and structural changes of aircraft. With EU funding, the WEMACS (Weights and manufacturing costs) project set out to develop a software application that provides such accurate estimations. By exploiting new materials, technologies and design solutions, the software suite calculates the weight of main aircraft structures such as the fuselage, wing and tail. In addition, it supplies detailed manufacturing costs for each component. The innovative tool also uses information previously gathered by conventional methods, and calculates those costs as well. Project partners began by specifying the software requirements before proceeding with design and development. They then verified and validated the software application using Boeing 737 data. This included functionality, interface, resource and performance testing, in addition to system validation tests. The estimated total weight of the fuselage, wing and tail was analysed and then compared to existing data. Results were positive, revealing only minor deviations. The developed software is flexible and reusable thanks to its autonomous modules and reconfigurable interfaces. It can be partially or wholly integrated into more varied and complex aircraft design tools. A manual introducing the application, its features and instructions for optimal use was also prepared. WEMACS delivered innovative software technology for the next generation of aircraft. It is doing its part in meeting environmental and societal targets for more efficient, safer and greener air transport.
Green aircraft, aerodynamics, structural changes, manufacturing costs, aircraft structures, air transport