Relating Technology to Acquisition Costs

Aircraft Turbine Engines

by J. R. Nelson, Fred Timson

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A refinement of a technique developed in R-1017 for quantitatively assessing the technology sought in aircraft turbine engines in terms of the time of arrival of a demonstrated level of performance. The present report describes how that technique has been refined and related to development and production costs of military aircraft turbine engines. Resulting cost models, which incorporate the predicted time of arrival (TOA) of an engine with a specific set of technical characteristics at its 150-hr Model Qualification Test along with other specific "conventional" variables known to affect engine cost, are compared to models that exclude the TOA measure. Models incorporating technical parameters by themselves are also investigated. Incorporation of TOA yields a cost-estimating relationship that is superior to the equations based only on the conventional variables used in past studies. Cost equations incorporating TOA can be used to analyze performance schedule/cost tradeoffs and their associated risks; the standard and technology parameters models cannot.

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