Research and Development
Research and development (R&D) plays a very critical role in aircraft manufacturing industries, enabling the more successful companies to stay in business in the highly competitive market place. Continuous improvement in productivity, reduced cost of manufacturing, quality, and safety performance of an aircraft all benet from the successful application of R&D in aircraft manufacturing. This chapter highlights the major elements of aircraft design congurations, which will drive materials selection and the need for manufacturing R&D. Both will be applied to satisfy engineering design needs, drive down manufacturing costs, and improve the quality and safety of an aircraft as illustrated in Figure 20.1. Airline customers look for an aircraft that can y longer distances with greater passenger capacities and also burn less fuel over the same ying range. Fuel savings enable ying extra miles/kilometers and thereby increase the ying range. Based on the aircraft design conguration, an aircraft manufacturer develops their engineering design needs, which in turn are supported by materials and manufacturing R&D. These are the two most important elements to be applied in satisfying all the design conguration elements of the airline customers. Successful achievement of these goals will lower aircraft manufacturing cost and provide highest quality and safety of an aircraft.