Types of Aircraft Industry Goals
Different aircraft types have different purposes and performance requirements, which requires different approaches to the product design process. Understanding the goals and service environments of a specific aircraft type from the very beginning allows designers, engineers, and manufacturers to make confident decisions at every step of the process that support the ultimate purpose and requirements of the project.
Reliability plays a key role in the design and manufacture of commercial aircraft. A single commercial aircraft may perform 3,000 landings in a single year, every single one of which must be reliably safe.
Commercial aircraft must also be designed to maximize passenger comfort. The aircraft must be very stable, flying straight level, with very few erratic maneuvers that may frighten passengers or trigger motion sickness. Additionally, commercial aircraft designers often choose to place the fuselage over the wings to make the cabin quieter.
Commercial aircraft may also be designed for fuel efficiency. Even marginal fuel savings on a single flight can translate to massive cost savings across a single day, year, or airline. Major airlines may be highly motivated to purchase aircraft designed for fuel efficiency due to the savings they may realize as a result.
The average military aircraft performs fewer landings per year—perhaps 800 or so—than a commercial aircraft. However, those landings are likely to occur in far more intense conditions and without advanced planning. These aircraft must be designed to protect both the crew and the aircraft in the likely event of a rough landing in rugged, unpredictable conditions.
Stability is less of a priority for military aircraft. Unlike commercial aircraft, military planes do have to perform more intense maneuvers while in flight. In fact, the ability to perform complex maneuvers at high speeds may be a top priority, depending on the aircraft and its purpose. This may include the ability to provide extremely close support for ground troops. This must be considered when designing the aircraft and its controls.
There may also be special functions to consider when designing military aircraft. Some military planes are amphibious and can take off and land on solid ground or water. Others have vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities for entering and exiting dense terrain with no runway. These special features may affect virtually every part of the aircraft design, which is why understanding these goals from the very beginning is so important.
Meeting Aircraft Design Needs
Aircraft companies have specific criteria in mind when looking for design and manufacturing support. However, these criteria can differ depending on the type of aircraft being manufactured.
Production backlogs and delays are an ongoing problem and often a significant source of frustration in the world of commercial aircraft. These companies are often looking for someone who can keep them on track without slowdowns or bottlenecks.
Another top priority for commercial aircraft manufacturers is rapid innovation. These companies are highly motivated to incorporate new technology quickly so they can gain an edge on their competition. They need a manufacturing partner who can support fast-paced innovation, so they can get those new ideas to market as quickly as possible.
Developing a military aircraft often takes longer. Many new technologies and developments may be tested in the process, some of which may be so cutting-edge that they’re being tested and validated for the first time. Plus, because a military aircraft may fly so many varied missions during its service life, its components must be able to withstand a wider range of service conditions. Military aircraft manufacturers seek design and manufacturing partners who can develop components rugged enough for their planes.
Aviation Manufacturing & Machining From NMG
NMG Aerospace has the expertise, experience, and manufacturing and machining capabilities to support the different performance goals of the commercial and military aircraft industries. We seek to understand your goals and requirements from the very beginning, so we can offer design, engineering, and manufacturing support that leads to a successful final product. Our experts can tailor our approach based on your performance goals, whether that’s the stability and fuel efficiency of a commercial aircraft or the incredible maneuverability of a military plane. We make it our goal to understand your priorities from the very beginning, so you can count on the best possible guidance from initial design to final quality testing.
To learn more about our design support services, talk to a member of our team >