spencesaab
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Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:52 pm

Hi there guys,

I have an assignent to write at university. Its a small one at just 1500words and it is about the configuration of modern transport aircraft (i.e civilian pax & carg aircraft).

Basiclly almost all civilian aircraft are built to a generally accepted sandrd configuration (two wings, attached midway along the uselage, empenge consisting of vertical & horizotal stabilisers and two engines slung below the wings) although there are variations of this (4 engines, engines mounted aft of the wings etc).

I have to investigate WHY thi is, and also lookat possible alternatives.

Could anyone suggest any websites or books that would be worth reading for this?

As usual any help is much appreciated
thanks in advace

regards,
-Spence-
Silence is Golden when you don't know a good answer
 
cal764
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:36 pm

You might want to discuss the pros/cons of a T-tail configuration w/ engines in the rear...
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soon7x7
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:45 pm

Look into Boeings "Blended Wing" concepts...complete departure form everything we currently see flying today...also during the second war Germany toyed around with many unusual concepts, many that are seen today and are thought to be revolutionary yet the ideas have been on paper for a long time. Airlines like aircraft that make them money, so economy, stability, cost of manufacturing and maintaining/reliability. All add to the final design, and safety of course is a concern but not the bottom line.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:03 am



Quoting SpenceSaab (Thread starter):

I have to investigate WHY thi is, and also lookat possible alternatives.

Some random thoughts:

As mentioned, look at T-tails. Also interesting are the early 747 proposals which look quite different from what the plane ended up with.

http://rosboch.net/aviationmedia/Early747options_anteater.jpg
http://rosboch.net/aviationmedia/Early747options_doubledecker.jpg

You should definitely look at the relationship between structural weight and fuselage shape. IIRC there was an A380 proposal with two 340 fuselages set side by side, but the structural weight went through the roof.

You should also look at the relationship between structural weight and wing position, as well as wing spar obstruction in the fuselage and wing position.

Underslung engines on pylons have a lot to do with both maintenance and aerodynamics.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:34 am



Quoting SpenceSaab (Thread starter):
I have to investigate WHY thi is, and also lookat possible alternatives.

Could anyone suggest any websites or books that would be worth reading for this?

Read Joe Sutter's 747 book...lots of insight there on the types of decisions and trades behind that particular aircraft configuration, and a lot is generalizable to other designs.

Tom.
 
spencesaab
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:19 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys, if there's anymore to come feel free to post!
Silence is Golden when you don't know a good answer
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:39 pm



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 3):
Also interesting are the early 747 proposals which look quite different from what the plane ended up with.

Do you know anything about that first one?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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Starlionblue
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:31 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 6):

Do you know anything about that first one?

I know it was nicknamed "The Anteater" because of the lowered cockpit. I believe the lowered cockpit was that way for the same reason as the raised one in the final plane: cargo clearance. Otherwise it was very similar from the final product.

The second one (yellow) is a double decker with a narrower cross section. Sort of like two 707s stacked on top of each other. Note also the mid wing. I believe there were evacuation issues if nothing else, and of course cargo space was not as good.

I have always found these kinds of studies fascinating. It is good that engineers go a bit wild on occasion and don't just take a configuration for granted.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
SlamClick
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:15 am

Don't forget, not all lofting decisions are aerodynamic ones. Some are structural and some are economic based on things having little to do with flight.

At some point, for example, airplane design drove airport terminal and ramp design. Now there is some backfeed. Most airports are set up to enplane/deplane passengers from aircraft left and most other services are from the right - fuel, bags etc. If you want to design an airplane incompatible with that setup there had better be a good reason for it because there will be a cost.

For one example, I long suspected that some folks in Long Beach would like to have put canard elevators on the MD-80 but had they done so it is a statistical certainty that a jetway driver would have removed a substantial number of them in the first couple of years.

It might even be true that passenger acceptance might drive some considerations.
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David L
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:49 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 7):
The second one (yellow) is a double decker with a narrower cross section

I vaguely recall that Juan Trippe was keen on the double deck from a passenger novelty angle but someone from Boeing took a tape measure to a meeting and demonstrated that a single deck would be as wide as the meeting room they were in. Pan Am were apparently impressed.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Configuration Of Modern Transport Aircraft

Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:14 pm



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 8):

For one example, I long suspected that some folks in Long Beach would like to have put canard elevators on the MD-80 but had they done so it is a statistical certainty that a jetway driver would have removed a substantial number of them in the first couple of years.

It might even be true that passenger acceptance might drive some considerations.

THIS passenger would have GLADLY accepted canard elevators on a Mad Dog.

But I agree, that's just asking for a jetway to do some "unscheduled maintenance" on the A/C.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan

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