Postprint version. Published in 10th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations (ATIO) Conference Proceedings: Fort Worth, Texas, September 13, 2010.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2010-9221.
The cruise or loiter performance of an aircraft is intimately tied to its wing loading (W/S) and its thrust to weight ratio (T/W). Paradoxically, mission performance is often not considered when these fundamental aircraft parameters are determined in conceptual design. In this research, the traditional constraint diagram is extended to include contours of range parameter. This point performance metric represents the mission performance capability of the aircraft without sizing the aircraft to a particular mission. This gives the designer an immediate and intuitive understanding of the tradeoff between the point and mission performance of the aircraft. This improved constraint diagram presents the designer with a more complete basis for understanding and weighing the consequences of decisions. Through improved insight, the secondary impact of technologies can be better understood early in the design process.