A conceptual wing-box weight estimation model for transport aircraft

R. M. Ajaj, M. I. Friswell, D. Smith, A. T. Isikveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This paper presents an overview of an advanced, conceptual wing-box weight estimation and sizing model for transport aircraft. The model is based on linear thin-walled beam theory, where the wing-box is modelled as a simple, swept tapered multi-element beam. It consists of three coupled modules, namely sizing, aeroelastic analysis, and weight prediction. The sizing module performs generic wing-box sizing using a multi-element strategy. Three design cases are considered for each wing-box element. The aeroelastic analysis module accounts for static aeroelastic requirements and estimates their impact on the wing-box sizing. The weight prediction module estimates the wing-box weight based on the sizing process, including static aeroelastic requirements. The breakdown of the models into modules increases its flexibility for future enhancements to cover complex wing geometries and advanced aerospace materials. The model has been validated using five different transport aircraft. It has shown to be sufficiently robust, yielding an error bandwidth of ±3%, an average error estimate of -0·2%, and a standard error estimate of 1·5%.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)533-551
Number of pages19
JournalAeronautical Journal
Issue number1191
StatePublished - May 2013


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