Posted by


Software/Hardware/Tools Track

Downloadable Files:



One of the challenges in performing engineering design trade studies is to meet the required cycle time or trade study tempo and to have sufficient data to model the trade study alternatives for each architecture concept.

Reduced-form cost equations, derived from industry cost models, provide a convenient way to allow for rapid single as well as multiple architecture aircraft studies. This capability is particularly important in a Multi-discipline Design Optimization (MDO) environment.

This paper will show the method used and the results achieved to develop cost equations for development and production, based upon the PRICE-H model.
These Cost Estimating Relationships (CERs) require limited information, and can be rapidly iterated in an integrated multi-discipline engineering model environment.

The presentation will include the following:
1. Identification of major aircraft cost drivers
2. Derivation of the equations for DDT&E and Production for the following aircraft WBS elements (Structure, Engines, Avionics, Subsystems, Software)
3. Presentation of the aircraft cost model

Last, we develop a weight-performance equation that enables the linkage between traditional weights based cost models and top level performance and design requirements. That is, aircraft weight is derived from top level performance requirements which enables concept and early design cost estimating before mass property weight information may be available. The aircraft weight equation is developed using industry performance and weight data.


Tom Harwick
Mr. Harwick has worked in applied economics, cost modeling, and cost-risk for 22 years.
His degrees include:
BA, and MA Economics, California State University, Northridge
BA Mathematics, California State University, Los Angeles
Other studies:
System Engineering Certificate at California Institute of Technology (CIT).
Mr. Harwick has applied utility theory and the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology to engineering CAIV trade studies, and to a pending patent sensor application (2004).
He has written and presented papers (Huntsville, AL; Albuquerque, NM) to examine the economic characteristics of multiple hardware cost estimating models (PRICE-H, SEER-H, NAFCOM, DAPCA, TRANSCOST), 1997-1998
He presented a lecture for the ISWR series, “Concepts of Aircraft Systems Design”, titled “Life Cycle Cost, Design-to-Cost” in El Segundo, July, 2006.
He has developed and defended software cost estimates for large programs.
He has taught microeconomics at the Community College level.
He is a member of the Space Systems Cost Analysis Group (SSCAG), software working group, through Northrop Grumman Corporation.