We will first recall that the organization of airframe designing stands in direct relation to the performance capabilities of available tools, which is, in fact, what determines the number and the nature of project iterations.

We then present and analyze an organization type which can nowadays be recommended in view of the currently available CAD, computation and mathematical optimization means.

This leads to a first design which is followed by experimental verification, with a key role for flight tests. The final design is checked with the aid of computation models that have been calibrated with the results of the performed tests.

We will then examine new tools, since they are factors in the future evolution of the design methodology, including:

• availability of the “design history”, as a set of all data of the whole process,

• structure optimization with parametric CAD and multidisciplinary optimization

• “feature” modeling

• enhancement of the computation methods

As a conclusion, we show that significant gains in terms of productivity and quality can be expected from these new products, both at design and at production level. What remains, however, to be found, are the most appropriate concurrent engineering organizations that are best suited to these new tools.

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