Journal article Open Access
The on-board design discipline is sometimes ignored during the first aircraft design iterations. It might be understandable when a single on-board system architecture is considered, especially when a conventional architecture is selected. However, seeing the trend towards systems electrification, multiple architectures can be defined and each one should be evaluated during the first tradeoff studies. In this way, the systems design discipline should be integrated from the first design iterations. This paper deals with a progressive integration of the discipline to examine the partial or total effect of the systems design inside an MDA workflow. The study is carried out from a systems design perspective, analyzing the effect of electrification on aircraft design, with different MDA workflow arrangements. Starting from a non-iterative systems design, other disciplines such as aircraft performance, engine design, and aircraft synthesis are gradually added, increasing the sensibility of the aircraft design to the different systems architectures. The results show an error of 40% in on-board systems assessment when the discipline is not fully integrated. Finally, using the workflow which allows for greater integration, interesting differences can be noted when comparing systems with different levels of electrification. A possible mass saving of 2.6% of aircraft MTOM can be reached by properly selecting the systems technologies used.