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Conceptual Design
transformation of user requirements/needs into a
conceptual model
stepwise iterations
iterate, iterate, iterate
consideration of alternatives
Trade studies

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Definition Conceptual Design
a description of the proposed system in terms of a set of
integrated ideas and concepts about what it should do,
behave and look like, that will be understandable by the
users in the manner intended

From the perspective of synthesis, system design is nominally

comprised of conceptual, preliminary, and detail design.

Conceptual design is the first and most important phase of

the system design and development process.

It is an early and high-level lifecycle activity with potential to

establish, commit, and otherwise predetermine the function,
form, cost, and development schedule of the desired system.

An appropriate starting point for design at the conceptual level is

the identification of a problem and associated definition of need.
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Conceptual Design
The primary responsibility of conceptual design is the selection of
a path forward for the design and development of a preferred
system configuration, which ultimately is responsive to the
identified requirements.

Throughout the conceptual system design phase (commencing with

the need analysis), one of the major objectives is to develop and
define the specific design-to requirements for the

The results from these activities are combined, integrated, and

included in a system specification.

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Conceptual Design steps

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Primary Functions of Aircraft Components

Horizontal tail
Vertical tail
Landing gear

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Functions of Wing
The main function of the wing is to generate the aerodynamic
force of lift to keep the aircraft airborne.

The wing tends to generate two other unwanted aerodynamic

productions: an aerodynamic drag force plus an aerodynamic
pitching moment.

Furthermore, the wing is an essential component in providing

the aircraft lateral stability, which is fundamentally significant
for flight safety.

In almost all aircraft, the aileron is arranged so as to be at the

trailing edge of the outboard section. Hence, the wing is
largely influential in providing the aircraft lateral control.

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Wind Configuration Alternatives

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Selection Criteria:
Ease of manufacturing
Flight performance
Aircraft life

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Functions of Fuselage
The primary function of the fuselage is to accommodate the
payload which includes passengers, cargo, luggage, and other
useful loads.

The fuselage is often a home for the pilot and crew members, and
most of the time fuel tanks and engine(s).

Since the fuselage provides a moment arm to the horizontal and

vertical tail , it plays an influential role in longitudinal and
directional stability and control.

If the fuselage is decided to be short, a boom must be provided to

allow for the tails to have sufficient arm.

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Fuselage Configuration

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Functions of Horisontal Tail
The horizontal tails primary function is to generate
an aerodynamic force to longitudinally trim the

Furthermore, the HT is an essential component is

providing the aircraft longitudinal stability, which is a
fundamental requirement for flight safety.

In the majority of aircraft, the elevator is a movable part

of the horizontal tail, so longitudinal control and
maneuverability are applied through the horizontal tail.

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Functions of Vertical Tail
The VTs primary function is to generate an
aerodynamic force to directionally trim the aircraft.

Furthermore, the VT is an essential component in

providing the aircraft directional stability, which is a
fundamental requirement for flight safety.

In the majority of aircraft, the rudder is a movable part of

the VT, so directional control and maneuverability are
applied through the VT.

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Tail Configurations

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Tail Configuration Alternatives

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Functions of Engine
The engine is the main component in the aircraft propulsion system to
generate power and/or thrust.

The aircraft requires a thrust force to move forward (as in any

other vehicle), so the engines primary function is to generate the thrust.

The fuel is considered to be a necessary item of the propulsion system and it

sometimes constitutes a large part of the aircraft weight.

An aircraft without an engine is not able to take off independently, but is

capable of gliding and landing, as performed by sailplanes and gliders.

Sailplanes and gliders take off with the help of other aircraft or outside
devices (such as a winch), and climb with the help of wind and thermal

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Propulsion System Configuration

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Functions of Landing Gear
The primary function of the landing gear is to facilitate take-
off and landing operations.

During take-off and landing operations, the fuselage, wing,

tail, and aircraft components are kept away from the ground
through the landing gear.

The wheels of the landing gear in land-based and ship-based

aircraft also play a crucial role in safe acceleration and
deceleration of the aircraft.

Rolling wheels as part of the landing gear allow the aircraft to

accelerate without spending a considerable amount of thrust
to overcome friction.

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Landing Gear Configuration

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Aircraft major components and their

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Develop an appropriate materials basis
Ensure a structural concept that supports the
configuration, i.e., identify the load paths for wing,
landing gear, tail, etc.
Define Operational Limits

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Control Surfaces

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process and
Trade off

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