Preliminary Assessment of the Economic Viability of a Family of Very Large Transport Configurations
Mavris, Dimitri N.
Kirby, Michelle Rene
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A family of Very Large Transport (VLT) concepts were studied as an implementation of the affordability aspects of the Robust Design Simulation (RDS) methodology which is based on the Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) initiative that is sweeping through industry. The VLT is envisioned to be a high capacity (600 to 1000 passengers), long range (~7500 nm), subsonic transport. Various configurations with different levels of technology were compared, based on affordability issues, to a Boeing 747-400 which is a current high capacity, long range transport. The varying technology levels prompted a need for an integration of a sizing/synthesis (FLOPS) code with an economics package (ALCCA). The integration enables a direct evaluation of the added technology on a configuration economic viability. The determination of the viability was based on the assessment of the following evaluation criteria: average yield per Revenue Passenger Mile ($/RPM), Total Operating Cost per day (TOC), acquisition cost, airframe manufacturer's cash flow, and airline? return on investment. The assessment of these criteria was performed through the application of several statistical techniques such as Response Surface Methodology (RSM), Design of Experiments (DoE), and Monte Carlo Simulations. The result is a series of second-order equations that model the evaluation criteria above stated. The final conclusion of this analysis is that the 800 passenger configuration would meet most of the market demand (600 to 1600 passengers) of 250 city pairs considered. This paper reviews the RDS methodology and how it was applied to determine the economic viability of a VLT concept. In addition, it documents the results of the method used to determine the economic viability of a family of VLT configurations and the most affordable VLT configuration for a specified market demand.