April 30, 2021, ©. Leeham News: After our hydrogen series, we now start a series around the Challenges of Airliner Development.
We have more aeronautical projects in development than ever, fueled by the transformation to new, more sustainable technology and new forms of flight, like Urban Air Mobility and Drones based on electrical propulsion.
Many of these projects underestimate what it takes to ready a certified air vehicle. We describe what’s involved in a series of Corners.
Aeronautical development projects have one thing in common: they all go over cost and time estimates, with very few exceptions.
It doesn’t matter if it’s new, inexperienced entrepreneurs or experienced large airliner OEMs. One thing is for sure. It takes longer and costs more. Examples from the latter:
We could look at the upstarts, where the delays and busted cost estimates are of an even larger scale.
To uncover why even experienced teams have these difficulties, we will take the help of a pair of experienced development and certification managers:
We will structure the series in the main blocks that are recognizable when getting a new aircraft project to market. While a UAM or Drone can have a slightly different development cycle, one can distinguish the same phases in most aeronautical projects that develop commercially certified vehicles.
Here the phases and their names. Other names are used, depending on project and OEM, but these are the common names:
We shall note, while these are the main phases, there are overlaps between phases.
Before we get into the different phases, we will spend the next Corner discussing why aeronautical certification plays such a crucial part in commercial aeronautical projects.