Introduction to Practical VTOL Aircraft Cost Estimating

Forum 77 eVTOL Tech Short Course

Introduction to Practical VTOL Aircraft Cost Estimating
Taught: Tues-Wed, Jun 22–23, 2021
10am–3pm ET (GMT-4), both days
Virtual | Go-To-Webinar | Two-part course
Cost: US$325.00 non-members / $295 VFS members / $100 VFS student members

Are you working to build the next great VTOL aircraft? Do you share an interest in trying to solve one of the great challenges to the application of rotorcraft? Whether you’re a student of aircraft design, a professional engineer, or a program manager, this short course is for you. In this 2 day class, we will explain the language, methods, and strategies that define the field of aerospace cost engineering as it is applied to VTOL aircraft. This class will teach you how to estimate and describe the cost of an aircraft and how to identify an affordable design.

If you’ve ever followed aviation news, read about the defense budget, or purchased a commercial airplane ticket, you probably have some sense of the cost of aviation. What do terms like unit flyaway price, total ownership cost, and cost per flight hour really mean though? This course will explain terminology in all of the government and industry standard accounting systems so you can decipher the language of affordability like an expert analyst. What about new designs and systems like high speed rotorcraft, eVTOL, and UAV aircraft? Can anyone really predict the price of a clean sheet design concept before building it? It turns out there are several commercially available tools and open source models that do precisely this and we will show you where to find them! We will also review the basics of how to gather historical data and construct a new cost model of your own. Most importantly, this course will cover the basics of how to generate and interpret reasonable cost estimates using these models. We will demonstrate through examples how they have been used (and misused) in past aircraft programs too.

This class is for anyone who wants to amplify their work in rotorcraft and aerospace. There are no prerequisites for this course except for a basic understanding of aircraft terminology and mathematics. If you are an aircraft designer, a researcher, or an engineer with a new piece of technology, we will show you how to demonstrate the economic impact of your work using aircraft cost assessment. If you already work in cost analysis or program management, this course is a great survey of the whole field with enough aircraft design background to help you communicate with engineers. You will leave this course armed with new knowledge to tackle the affordability challenge in VTOL aviation!


Robert ScottRobert Scott is an aerospace engineer with over 10 years of research experience in aircraft design and cost assessment at the conceptual development stage for various government programs involving advanced rotorcraft and VTOL aircraft configurations. He holds a PhD in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech.

Robert Scott

 Michael Vegh is an aerospace engineer specializing in the application of battery models to aircraft design, with experience performing government assessments of unconventional configurations and concepts, including both fixed wing and rotary wing designs. He holds a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford.