ASSESSMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DESIGN ANALYSIS AND OPTIMIZATION ENVIRONMENT INCLUDING RAMS AND COST DISCIPLINES
The aim of the present paper is to assess the effect of new technologies on the whole aircraft product includ-
ing its costs, reliability and maintainability characteristics. Several studies have been conducted dealing with
the preliminary evaluation of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) of conventional aircraft.
They provide a very effective method to preliminary estimate RAMS characteristics but their employment is not completely suitable for the analysis of unconventional configurations adopting new technologies. This paper aims at evaluating how the aircraft costs and RAMS characteristics are affected by new structures material, natural laminar flow wing technology and unconventional actuator system (electro-hydrostatic actuators), hence an update of the state of the art models is needed. This evaluation is performed by means of a setup and execution of a Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) workflow. The MDAO environment includes the aircraft conceptual design, aircraft performance, structure design, engine design, on-board systems design, RAMS and maintenance cost modules. The RAMS module is used to obtain the failure rates and maintenance effort (in terms of maintenance man hour per flight hour) at subsystem level. The cost module is based on a new maintenance cost model able to estimate the operating cost of the different aircraft variants. The selected new technologies are applied to a regional jet developed within the framework of AGILE research project. For each technology, a different variant of this aircraft is analyzed. Results show that some important saves are reached both in terms of maintenance and fuel cost when new technologies are applied.