Conceptual level FEM based wing weight estimation
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Weight and its estimation have a vital impact in the aircraft design process from the very early phases. When the conceptual design configuration of an aircraft has been created, it should ensure that the estimated weight is sufficiently accurate to meet the performance and cost requirements. The estimation of structural weight in early design stages is mostly performed using historical data; however, this approach does not provide reliable weight estimates for unconventional or unique designs or those that employ advanced materials. One solution for improving the accuracy of conceptual level weight estimation is to improve the fidelity of the methodology, geometry models, and loads through the use of Finite Element Methods (FEM). This thesis is intended to demonstrate an initial application of conceptual-level FEM based weight estimation to aircraft wing structure.