Design of a Small Transport Aircraft for Island Cargo and Passenger Delivery and Resupply

1. Opportunity Description

Mr. Marlon Brando owns an island in French Polynesia that he wishes to develop into an energy research station. Because of its isolation, the island inhabitants will need to have supplies shipped in from the external world. Ships or barges could fulfill this requirement, but aircraft can provide supplies more quickly and can also transport island inhabitants, workers and visitors.

Mr. Brando has become interested in ground-effect technology, and would like to pursue the possibility of acquiring a vehicle utilizing the ground effect. At present, the island does not have a runway, and there are no plans to build other than an unimproved strip of 1000 feet or less. There is no fuel available on the island.

Two aircraft have already been designed to fulfill this mission.   Neither of them have yet been selected for production, and there is some controversy over which approach best meets the mission requirements.

2. Project Objectives

  1. Design an aircraft to deliver supplies and passengers between several supply points and the island.
  2. Evaluate the feasibility of using a "ground-effect" aircraft for this application. Compare the overall costs of a ground-effect vehicle to a conventional aircraft.
  3. Evaluate the takeoff and landing alternatives for the aircraft.
  4. Prepare and present a technical design proposal addressing the project objectives and design requirements.

3. Design Requirements

3.1 General

  1. The aircraft must meet the appropriate FAR part requirements for airworthiness.
  2. The aircraft must be designed for a crew of two pilots (220 lbs each).
  3. There are no minimum speed or ceiling requirements for the aircraft.
  4. Maximum takeoff and landing distances for a land-based aircraft are 1000 feet on an unimproved field.
  5. The aircraft must have a ferry range of 1800 Nmi (no fuel reserves).

3.2 Mission

The aircraft should be designed as a short-haul delivery aircraft. For the design mission, it must carry four passengers with luggage (220 lbs/passenger) and have a cargo capacity of 2800 lbs and 240 cubic feet (5’ 6’ 8’). The design mission consists of

  1. Takeoff on a tropical day (sea level, 90 degrees F) at design takeoff weight.
  2. Cruise 75 Nmi.
  3. Land under tropical-day conditions.
  4. Takeoff at design takeoff weight.
  5. Cruise 75 Nmi
  6. Land under tropical-day conditions.
  7. Perform three round trips per day without refueling.
  8. FAR fuel reserves.

4. Data Requirements

The technical proposal must demonstrate that the proposer can provide a superior solution to the identified need. The proposal must include the following:

  1. Justify the final design and describe in detail the technical approach used to meet the requirements. The proposal must discuss the relative merits of ground-effect and conventional aircraft for this application.
  2. Provide sizing or carpet plots used to optimize the final selected design.
  3. Include standard 3-view and solid-model drawings.
  4. Include an inboard profile showing the general internal arrangement for the standard and the ferry configurations.
  5. Include an illustrated description of the primary load-bearing airframe structure and state rationale for material selection.
  6. Include a V-n diagram.
  7. Include a weight breakdown for all major components and systems and show center-of-gravity travel.
  8. Include a drag breakdown for all important configurations.
  9. Provide major performance estimates and demonstrate stability for all flight and loading conditions.
  10. Explain the engine performance model.
  11. Provide cost estimates for the selected configuration.

5. Proposal Requirements

The technical proposal must be specific and complete. It must include all data requirements outlined above. In addition, it must:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the RFP requirements.
  2. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of design process techniques by including ample evidence of brainstorming, problem analysis, aircraft sizing methodology, tradeoff studies and optimization. A justified selection matrix must be included.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the technical aspects of the design. There must be explicit evidence of relevant mathematical modeling and analysis, including that required for complete evaluation of the ground-effect alternative.
  4. Be legible, clear and complete. All sketches, drawings and tables must have numbers and titles. All analysis methods must be presented in sufficient detail to permit adequate evaluation of results. Any new techniques or approaches should be highlighted and described in detail.
  5. Describe all automated design tools used in the development.
  6. Use standard, formal English including correct spelling, usage and grammar.
  7. Use 12-point, double-spaced type. Fonts with serifs (such as Times Roman) are strongly preferred. Captions and type on diagrams may be 10-point. Use 1-inch margins on all sides. (The left margin may be 1.25 inches to allow for binding.) The proposal should be long enough to include all requirements, but it should not exceed 100 pages.
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