Improving Aircraft Design Robustness with Scenario Methods

A. Strohmayer


Compared to other industries, the aerospace sector is characterized by long product cycles in a very complex environment. The aircraft manufacturer has to base his product strategy on a long-term view of risks and opportunities in the transport industry but he cannot predict the development of relevant factors in this market environment with any certainty. In this situation, scenario methods offer a pragmatic way to limit the uncertainties and to work them up methodically, in order to derive recommendations for cost-intensive strategic decisions like for example the go-ahead for a new aircraft concept. By including scenario methods in the aircraft design cycle, the ‘design robustness’ can be improved, i.e. the design is not optimised for a prognosticated operating environment, but can cope with various possible future developments. The paper will explain the three fundamental aspects in applying scenario planning to the aircraft design process: requirement definition, design evaluation and technology identification. For each aspect, methods will be shown, which connect the rather qualitative results of a scenario process with aircraft design, which typically demands a qualitative input.


aircraft design; scenario methods; requirements; design evaluation; technology strategy

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague