In an integrated aircraft design and analysis practice, Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is essential for decision making. The LCC of an aircraft is ordinarily partially estimated by emphasizing a specific cost type. However, an overview of the LCC including design and development cost, production cost, operating cost and disposal cost is not provided. This may produce biased cost estimates. Moreover, aircraft LCC estimation is largely dependent on the availability of input parameters. It is often a problem for the analyst to supply a limited group of data into a detailed cost estimation process. Therefore, it is necessary to provide flexibility in conducting both high level and detail level LCC assessments based on the data accessibility. An input-dependent bi-level LCC estimation method is proposed. It illustrates the comprehensive estimation of the cost elements in the LCC with clearly defined high level and detail level analyses to form the final cost. Knowledge of the product and the life cycle process are structured based on a pre-defined meta model and logic rules. Cost is then evaluated by traversing the meta model linked with computing capabilities. This method is applied on a case study concerning A330-200 aircraft. With the support of weight estimation and bottom-up process-based parametric cost estimation methods, it builds up a practical costing approach in quantifying the influence of LCC to the product life cycle.
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