Commercial Airplane Design Principles is a succinct, focused text covering all the information required at the preliminary stage of aircraft design:  initial sizing and weight estimation, fuselage design, engine selection, aerodynamic analysis, stability and control, drag estimation, performance analysis, and economic analysis.

The text places emphasis on making informed choices from an array of competing options, and developing the confidence to do so.

Key Features

  • Shows the use of standard, empirical, and classical methods in support of the design process
  • Explains the preparation of a professional quality design report
  • Provides a sample outline of a design report
  • Can be used in conjunction with Sforza, Commercial Aircraft Design Principles to form a complete course in Aircraft/Spacecraft Design


aircraft designers, aircraft maintenance and modification organizations, students in aerospace engineering.

Table of Contents


Introduction and Outline of an Airplane Design Report

1: Market Survey and Mission Specification

1.1 A growing market for commercial aircraft

1.2 Technology drivers

1.3 Cargo aircraft

1.4 Design summary

2: Preliminary Weight Estimation

2.1 The mission specification

2.2 The mission profile

2.3 Weight components

2.4 Empty weight trends

2.5 Fuel characteristics

2.6 Estimation of the takeoff and empty weights

2.7 Weight estimation for turboprop-powered aircraft

2.8 Design summary

2.9 Nomenclature

3: Fuselage Design

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Commercial aircraft cabin volume and pressure

3.3 General cabin layout

3.4 Cabin cross-section

3.5 Estimation of fuselage width

3.6 Estimation of fuselage length

3.7 Influence of fuselage fineness ratio

3.8 Estimation of nose cone and tail cone length

3.9 Cargo containers

3.10 Emergency exits

3.11 Recent developments in fuselage design

3.12 Design summary

3.13 Nomenclature

4: Engine Selection

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Landing requirements

4.3 Wing loading in landing

4.4 Landing field length

4.5 Wing loading in takeoff

4.6 Takeoff distance

4.7 Cruise requirements

4.8 Construction of the engine selection design chart

4.9 Flight test data for landing and power approach

4.10 Turbojet and turbofan engines

4.11 Turboprops

4.12 Engine-out operation and balanced field length

4.13 Design summary

4.14 Nomenclature

5: Wing Design

5.1 General wing planform characteristics

5.2 General airfoil characteristics

5.3 Lifting characteristics of the wing

5.4 Determination of wing maximum lift in the cruise configuration

5.5 High lift devices



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© 2014
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About the author

Pasquale Sforza

Pasquale Sforza received his PhD from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1965. He has taught courses related to commercial airplane design at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and the University of Florida. His research interests include propulsion, gas dynamics, and air and space vehicle design. Dr. Sforza has also acted as Co-Editor of the Journal of Directed Energy and Book Review Editor for the AIAA Journal. His previous books include Theory of Aerospace Propulsion (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2011) and Commercial Airplane Design Principles, (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2014)