1982-02-01

Systems Analysis of Preliminary Aircraft Designs for Commercial Cargo Service 821556

Uncertain economic conditions in the airline industry and the relatively small market for new freighter aircraft offer little encouragement that new pure commercial freighter aircraft programs can be launched. But at the same time, any proposed new large aircraft design should be thoroughly analyzed for many different applications including commercial all-cargo service. Design decisions based on these studies will determine what design features are added to a new aircraft to enhance its air cargo capabilities. This analysis should be approached by considering the complex interactions of the various components of the air cargo system including aircraft as well as the operational practices of carriersroute networks traffic costs prices financial arrangements and so on. Although some individual components of the air cargo system have been extensively studied and modeled there is no readily available model that integrates the components of the system so that aircraft designs can be routinely evaluated for profitability in commercial all-cargo service.
We have applied a systems analysis approach to provide insight into and understanding of the complex interactions between many components of the air cargo industry and to develop useful models of the system. This approach while it simplifies the real system considerably highlights the problems of determining how to evaluate an aircraft design.
Our goal is to produce significantly more useful models to evaluate tradeoffs during the preliminary aircraft design phase. This should enhance the effectiveness of a particular design in commercial air cargo operations. A similar approach should also be applicable to many other problems that call for analysis of the commercial air transport system.

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