Analysis of Ground Handling Characteristics of Innovative Aircraft Configurations

Author: Diana Rico Sanchez

Master Thesis


This master thesis deals with the analysis of ground handling processes, the description and application of software programs that are able to simulate aircraft ground handling processes and possible innovative aircraft configurations, in the form of sketches, that could improve the turnaround process in terms of time and cost. The analysis of ground handling processes has been conducted from real-time ground handling videos recorded at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. The data obtained has been used to develop statistical models in order to obtain mathematical equations. The equations have been constructed with rates which represent typical ground handling procedures. Based on the equations, typical input parameters for SIMBA (Simulation Tool for Aircraft Servicing) have been found. The simulation conducted shows a representative turnaround layout of the Airbus A320-200. The results of the simulation have been the turnaround costs, the turnaround bar chart and the compatibility of the ground vehicles movements. Knowledge has been gained through an expert interview. The information that has been found out with the interview is the critical paths in a normal turnaround with the relation of these critical paths with aircraft configurations. Sketches of innovative aircraft configurations are defined with a study of the main conventional attributes in ground handling. Innovative configurations are proposed and described with the assistance of three-view drawings. An analysis of these configurations has been carried out with the theoretical ground handling advantages and disadvantages in comparison of a conventional aircraft. Based on the different analyses conducted, all the information presented might be useful when developing an aircraft optimized for ground handling.