Metropolregion Hamburg

Early determination of cabin weight in aircraft design

Aircraft and Aircraft SystemsCabins and Cabin SystemsEco-EfficiencyLeading-Edge Cluster Competition

The method to be developed will improve the weight analysis in preliminary aircraft design for cabin components and can integration concepts with regard to structural influence on the aircraft.

The weight and the position of the centre of gravity are fundamental parameters in the evaluation of a new aircraft configuration with reference to perfomance (e.g. flight range, operating load, fuel consumption) in preliminary aircraft designs.

It is important that these parameters, too, can be estimated as early as possible in order to facilitate an objective, complete aircraft evaluation. This enables early, and therefore economical, corrections to the aircraft concept in line with the relevant targets, which in turn ensures optimal performance of the future aircraft within the market.

Whilst the structural and system components in a preliminary aircraft design can already be sufficiently evaluated in terms of weight, there is currently no suitable method available for the estimation of various cabin configurations and the respective approaches to integration within the aircraft structure. Methods applied to date are based on statistical analysis of obsolete aircraft databases. These methods are not suitable when it comes to taking technical modifications into account.

The new method, therefore, makes use of technical, physical characteristics of cabin components so as be able to represent technological change in weight calculation whilst being aware of dimensional issues. By taking integration concepts into account, this should also facilitate an evaluation of influence on the aircraft’s structural weight. Physical methods, however, require many input parameters, the majority of which are not known at the preliminary design stage. The number of parameters must therefore be reduced by means of suitable simplifications, for example rule-based approaches.


Dipl.-Ing. Alexander John Schulz,, +49 (0)40 68 98 77 30


case4de GmbH, Harburger Schlossstraße 26, 21079 Hamburg –

Project partners

Airbus Operations GmbH (Dept. EIXDS – Non-Specific Design Skills)

Sponsored by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Leading-Edge Cluster strategy