Worked-Out Example: Civil Aircraft Fuselage Layout
The purpose of the worked-out example is only to substantiate the methodology outlined. Readers can decide their own dimensions of the class of aircraft on which they are working. The available range of dimensions offers several choices; it is unlikely that fuselage sizing would fall outside of the given ranges – if at all, a marginal deviation is possible in an extreme design. Readers need not be confined to this classwork example and may explore freely; simplicity can be an asset.
Example 2 in Section 2.6 is used here to provide an example of configuring a civil aircraft: a Learjet45 class Bizjet that offers variants in a family of designs. Following are the important specifications for the aircraft:
Baseline Version (8 to 10 passengers)
Payload: 1,100 kg
High Comfort Level: 8 x 100 + 300 = 1,100 kg
Low Comfort Level: 10 x 90 (averaged) + 200 = 1,100 kg
Range: 2,000 miles + reserve
Longer Variant (12 to 14 Passengers)
Payload: 1,500 kg
High Comfort Level: 12 x 100 + 300 = 1,500 kg
Low Comfort Level: 14 x 90 (averaged) + 240 =
Range: 2,000 miles + reserve
Shorter Variant (4 to 6 passengers)
Payload: 600 kg
High Comfort Level: 4 x 100 + 200 = 600 kg
Low Comfort Level: 6 x 90 (averaged) + 60 = 600 kg
Range: 2,000 miles + reserve
The fuselage size is determined from the required passenger load. Following the considerations listed in Section 6.3.1, a stepwise approach is suggested.
Step 1: Configure the mid-fuselage width, which mostly consists of the constant cross-section.
Decide the number of abreast seating using Table 4.2 and the comfort level (aisle and seat width are made more comfortable at the
Short variant (4 to 6 passengers)
41 71 ft (12 71m)
Baseline arcraftt (8 to 10 passengers)
50 ft (15 24m)
Long vanant(12to 14 passengers)
58 2 ft (17 74m) expense of cost). In this case, it is two-abreast seating. This gives the cabin width and, adding the fuselage thickness, the result is the fuselage width. For a pressurized cabin, keeping the cross-section as close as possible to a circular shape is preferred; for an unpressurized cabin, it can approach a rectangular shape.
Step 2: Configure the mid-fuselage length, which consists mostly of the constant cross-section.
Determine the number of seat rows by dividing the total passenger capacity by the number of abreast seating. If it is not divisible, then the extreme rows will have seating with fewer abreast. Decide the passenger facilities (e. g, toilets, galleys, closets, and cabin-crew seating) and add those dimensions. The extremities of the fuselage midsection can be tapered to begin the fuselage closure. With Step 1, this provides the fuselage midsection size.
Step 3: Configure the front and aft closures.
Section 4.7.3 suggests various fuselage closures; there are many to choose from as observed from past designs in the aircraft class. Although there are benefits from past experience, designers should develop their own configuration based on pilot vision, drag considerations, space for storage, rotation for takeoff, and so forth. Following is a worked-out example to configure a baseline aircraft with a midsection fuselage.
The baseline aircraft cabin with medium comfort and a 10 seat layout is shown in Figure 6.8.
As discussed previously, two-abreast seating in the cross-section results in a widening of the bottom half for legroom, shown here in the inclined position for a man in the 95-percentile size. The fuselage width is 173 cm (68.11 inches) and the fuselage height is 178 cm (70 inches). To simplify the computation, an equivalent approximation uses an average circular diameter of the cross-section of 175.5 cm (69.1 inches) (e. g., for estimation of the fuselage wetted area). Standing height
inside the cabin is 152 cm (59.85 inches). The total fuselage shell thickness is 14 cm (5.5 inches), which makes the cabin width 159 cm (62.6 inches). The two – abreast seating arrangement is in accordance with Section 6.4.1, with detailed dimensions adding up to 4.5 + 53S + 44A + 53S + 4.5 = 159 cm (or 1.78 + 21S + 17A + 21S + 1.78 = 62.6 inches), fitting the cabin width exactly.
The medium-comfort seat pitch is 32 inches (81.28 cm). With the toilet facility 1 m (39.65 inches) long, the entry door of 76.2 cm (30 inches), and the interior space of 12.4 cm, the fuselage midsection (i. e., cabin) length totals (5 x 81.28) + 100 +
76.2 + 12.4 = 595 cm (234.3 inches). With the flight-crew cockpit space (1.85 m in length), the total is 7.8 m (303.12 inches), as shown in Figure 6.7. It is suggested that readers compare this with competition aircraft – this design has more room than is typical of the class.
For the longer variant with a higher density, a 14-passenger seat pitch is 30 inches (76.2 cm). The variant cabin dimension is now (7 x 76.2) + 100 + 76.2 +
12.4 = 722 cm (284.25 inches). Adding the cockpit length, the length becomes (7.22 + 1.85) = 9.07 m.
The shorter 6-passenger variant has the scope to retain a seat pitch of 32 inches (81.28 cm). The cabin midsection length becomes (3 x 81.28) + 100 +
76.2 + 12.4 = 432.44 cm (170.25 inches). With the length of the flight-crew cockpit space added in (1.85 m), it totals 6.37 m (250.8 inches).
The overall fuselage length is reached after adding front and aft closures, as given in Table 4.4. The windscreen shape and size must comply with FAR regulations, as shown in Figure 4.17. This is an opportunity to streamline the fuselage, incorporating aesthetics without incurring additional cost and performance degradation. After streamlining, the various ratios are checked out to be within the acceptable range. Choosing a suitable ratio, the following dimensions are estimated:
• The front-fuselage closure length is 11.48 ft (3.5 m), of which 1.85 m is the cockpit length.
• The front-fuselage closure ratio becomes Lf = 350/175.5 = 1.994 (see Section 4.7.3).
• The aft-fuselage closure length works out to be 18.54 ft (5.65 m), with the upsweep angle to be checked out later.
• The aft-fuselage closure ratio becomes La = 565/175.5 = 3.22, within the range. Therefore, the baseline version fuselage length, L = Lf + Lm + La = 3.5 + 5.95 + 5.65 = 15.1 m (49.54 ft).
• Fineness ratio = 1,510/175.5 = 8.6.
• Use the same closure lengths for the variants. The longer variant has a fineness ratio = (722 + 350 + 565)/175.5 = 9.33, well within the prescribed range. Here, one fuselage plug of 64 inches in the front and 40 inches in the aft of the wing are added (see Figure 6.2).
• The shorter variant has a fineness ratio = (432.44 + 350 + 565)/175.5 = 7.68, within the prescribed range. Here, one fuselage plug of 64 inches in the front and 30 inches in the aft of the wing are substracted (see Figure 6.2).
The three variants of the family are shown in Figures 6.2 and 6.8 along with the wing positioned nearly at the middle of the fuselage. The rotation clearance is to be checked out after the undercarriage is positioned. This is not a problem because the
Figure 6.9. A CAST 7 (Germany) aerofoil and its characteristics
main undercarriage length can be tailored in conjunction with the longest fuselage; this is the iterative process.