Maintenance cost of composite aircraft components are generally estimated based on the actual maintenance practices. The estimate is only available for the operating group while not for the design and manufacturing engineers. Moreover, the influence of component attributes are not considered, missing the link from component to maintenance task scheduling, till cost estimation. In this paper, a detailed maintenance cost estimation method is presented. Rules related to component maintenance are extracted to simulate the rationale behind the task scheduling process. Analyses based on a set of maintenance intervals and statistical maintenance times are carried out to determine maintenance cost. In order to identify the influence of composite material, maintenance labor cost for composite component is highlighted in particular. A study case is applied on the A330 composite rudder. The result shows that composite maintenance has a major influence on the overhaul of aircraft component. This research illustrates the capability to perform maintenance cost estimation by linking the component design to the maintenance operations. Assisted by the knowledge based engineering techniques and genetic-causal cost modeling, the influences of sub-assembly design to life cycle implications are identified.
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