Lightweighting in Aerospace Component and System Design
- Magazine Article
Lightweighting design is an extensively explored and utilized concept in many industries, especially in aerospace applications, and is associated with the green aviation concept. The contribution of aviation to global warming phenomena and environmental pollution has led to ongoing efforts for the reduction of aviation emissions. Approaches to achieve this target include increasing energy efficiency. An effective way to increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption is reducing the mass of aircraft, as a lower mass requires less lift force and thrust during flight. For example, for the Boeing 787, a 20% weight savings resulted in 10 to 12% improvement in fuel efficiency. In addition to reduction of carbon footprint, flight performance improvements such as better acceleration, higher structural strength and stiffness, and better safety performance could also be achieved by lightweight design.