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Preliminary Sizing in Aircraft Design

The following module presents a method for estimating the size, weight, and thrust of a jet-powered aircraft introduced by Laurence K. Loftin Jr. in NASA Reference Publication 1060(LOFTIN 1980).

The design process of today's aircraft is a very complex work done with very costly, high-speed computing equipment. However, to understand the meaning and the effects of individual performance and configuration parameters it is necessary to use a rapid and easier methode for the estimation of first parameters through a peliminary sizing.

Therefore and because of the close proximity to characteristics of existing aircraft, the method from Loftin was chosen. With the knowledge of the requirements at the airport and during cruise it is possible to get the following important aircraft parameters:

  takeoff mass, operating empty mass, fuel mass
takeoff thrust
wing area and wing loading
The following parts of Loftin's method will be presented:
Start of the Course: Preliminary Sizing in Aircraft Design