Some Tips for Aircraft Design Course

Two years ago, in this semester, I was taking aircraft design course for my undergraduate studies. In this course, the whole class was splitted into six or seven teams and each team needs to design an aircraft that meet the theme and DR&O given by the lecturers. At my time, the theme was long-range business jet capable of flying Jakarta – Los Angeles nonstop. Fantastic, right?

Today (or maybe i should say this semester), aircraft design course is being held again. This year’s theme was multirole fighter aircraft (Sigh, I wish I can take this course again because the theme is very interesting). So, I figured out that maybe right now, my underclassmen are suffering lack of sleep and intense headache because of the seems-to-be-never-ended design calculation. That’s why, in this post, I’m going to share several tips to get through the hell of aircraft design.

Here goes:

Pick your team well. I’m dead serious here. When you are choosing your teammates, it is better to choose someone who can and is willing to work. Trust me, you don’t wanna end up doing all the jobs while the others is just sitting there queitly and have their name on the report.

Stick to the DR&O. This one is pretty explicit. When you design the aircraft, stick to the given DR&O. The DR&O given to you may sound impossible to accomplish even if you cries blood, but it is what you should try to accomplish, your goal. Don’t even assumed that the DR&O is wrong and initiatively change it. Just do it (I don’t mean to promote any shoe brand here). If the DR&O is wrong, the stakeholder will corrected. If it’s not corrected, then do your best to accomplish it. If you change the DR&O by yourself, it will look like when you go to the restaurant, order noodles, and the waiter gives you rice because he/she thinks it’s more delicious. You don’t want that right? So, just stick to it, and do it.

Give your aircraft a name. This may sound silly, but giving your aircraft a name has several benefits. First of all, you don’t have to be confused with how to call your aircraft. And, second, it gives you some kind of moral boost. With your aircraft is named, you’ll get the feeling that this is my work, my art, my creation, and as if it is your own child, you’ll tend to do everything that you can to make it the best from the others. So, as soon as you have the rough idea of what will your aircraft look like or what is its uniqueness, give it a name.

Keep yourself healthy. This one may sound unrelated, but this is also true. When you take aircraft design course and start doing the job, you’ll be doing a lot of work. Your stamina will be depleted, your eyes will turn red, your hands will be numb, and your head will turn upside down. So, if you don’t keep your health, you’ll be falling sick after, or even worse, before the course is finished.

Yeah, I think that’s all. If any of you unfortunate souls (who has tasted the suffering of aircraft design) would like to add any tips, please feel free to mail me and I’ll have this post updated with your tips.

I hope you find this tips useful. My last words is “Enjoy the experience, guys!”



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