Date of Award


Degree Type



Aeronautics and Astronautics

Committee Chair

William A. Crossley

Committee Member 1

Daniel A. DeLaurentis

Committee Member 2

Inseok Hwang


The aircraft system's role in the United Stated Air Force is crucial. For the U.S. Air Force to maintain its air superiority in the world, the constant maintenance, upgrade, and acquisition of the systems must follow. As the cost of fuel rises and with the recent budget situation, the emphasis is on both running the Air Force fleet more efficiently and acquiring the platform that can reduce the fleet level operating cost and the fuel usage and yet brings same capabilities. The approach presented in the thesis combines approaches from multidisciplinary design optimization and operations research to improve energy efficiency-related defense acquisition decisions. The work focuses upon problems that are relevant to the U.S. Air Force-Air Mobility Command (AMC), which is the largest consumer of fuel in the Department of Defense. To reflect AMC problems, the approach must consider the uncertainty in cargo demand; historical data shows that the cargo demand for AMC varies on a daily basis. The approach selects requirements for a new cargo aircraft; predicts size, weight and performance of that new aircraft; and allocates the new aircraft along with existing aircraft fleet to meet the cargo transportation demand. The approach successfully provides a description of a new cargo aircraft that, given the abstractions and assumptions used, will reduce the fleet-level operating cost and / or the fuel needed to meet air cargo demand. The allocation problem incorporates scheduling-like features to account for time driven operational constraints. The results of this study demonstrate the approach for a simple three-route network and 22-base network, using the Global Air Transportation Execution System (GATES) dataset. With addition of uncertainty in demand and random home base generation, the simulation result will suggest an aircraft design that is more flexible to the fluctuations in demand. The 22-base network represents one day of operation of the AMC randomly selected from the GATES data. The result from the 22-base network simulation under uncertain demand scenario for the strategic fleet suggests the introduction of five new aircraft that are capable of 24 pallets and 3,300 nautical miles of unrefueled design range which will save 1.10 percent in the expected direct operating cost and 4.20 percent in expected fuel usage compared to the baseline allocation result without introduction of the new aircraft.