Insight Into Transportation System Life Cycle Costing Engineering Essay

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Life cycle costing is total financial cost of the constructing, operating and maintaining the machines and building that is used to estimate the cost over the entire life of equipments and buildings and is an engineering practice. More briefly, Life cycle costing is the estimation of the costs over the entire life cycle of the products and services.

Transportation system includes the motor vehicles, ships, aircraft and trains which are used to carry passenger and goods from one place to another. Huge amount of money is spent every year on the transportation system which includes the motor vehicles, ships, aircraft and trains etc. for its development, manufacture and smooth running of operations. The amount which is spent on the transportation system has become an important part of the world economy. A large amount of money can be saved by saving small percentage of this amount which is spent. The concept of life cycle costing is increasingly being applied in the transportation system in the various types of decisions particularly at the procurement and design stage of the transportation system. The important reason to use the life cycle costing concept at the early stage of transportation system like design and procurement stage is the past experiences which have revealed that some various transportation system cost like logistics and operating cost typically exceed their procurement costs. Many engineering products and systems also have the same case like the transportation system. According to Ryan, the owner ship cost of some engineering systems and products can differ from 10 to 100 times than their acquisition costs. With the passage of time, vast amount of research has been done on this and various publications have been written on various aspect of the transportation system life cycle costing.

8.2 Aircraft Life Cycle Cost

The life cycle cost breakdown structure of an aircraft can be different from one type of aircraft to another and from one organization to another but it can be segregated into four parts which are as follows:

LCCa = C1+C2+C3+C4


LCCa: is life cycle cost of aircraft.

C1: is development, research, test and evaluation cost of the aircraft.

C2: is production cost of aircraft.

C3: is composed of initial support cost of aircraft which is associated with items such as

Special equipment, spares, contractual training and support equipment.

C4: is associated with the operations and support such as training, depot-level engine

Base-level maintenance, component repair and operations personnel

Usually, for the calculation of life cycle cost of typical fighter aircraft is composed of three categories which are as follows:

LCCfa = DCfa+PCfa+OSCfa


LCCfa: is typical fighter aircraft life cycle cost.

DCfa: is development cost of fighter aircraft

PCfa: is acquisition cost of fighter aircraft.

OSCfa: is support and operations cost of fighter aircraft.

According to the Huie and Harris, the operations and support cost, development cost and acquisition cost of a typical aircraft fighter is allocated over its life span of 15 years that is normally account for the approximately 55, 10 and 35% of the life cycle cost, respectively.

The development cost of the aircraft is composed of the main four components which include the design and development cost, flight test support cost like (cost of ground support equipment, personnel and spares), test and evaluation cost and cost of data like (test and stress reports). Usually 90% of the development cost is based on the activities like design, manufacturing and testing. The driving factors of the cost of development includes the mission capabilities, maintainability characteristics like (mean time between failures and mean time to repair), and physical characteristics such as weight, reliability and size.

There are six main components of acquisition cost of the fighter aircraft. Two out of six components are accounted for the very large percentage of the acquisition cost. These two components are flyaway cost and cost of initial support. Cost of the airframe, avionics and engine are included in the flyaway cost and ground support equipment, inventory entry, management, cost of spares, training and training equipment are included in the cost of initial support. Reliability and maintainability characteristics, mission capabilities, training system requirements and maintenance concept are the main drivers of the acquisition cost.

Operations and support cost of the fighter aircraft have total nine main components which are as following:

Fuel cost

Facilities cost

Personnel cost

Modification cost

Item management cost

Depot maintenance cost

Replenishing spares cost

Replacement training cost

Base maintenance material

The five components which include the depot maintenance, base maintenance, personnel cost, replenishing spares cost and cost of fuel are accounted for the 85% of operations and support cost.

8.3 Aircraft Turbine Engine Life Cycle Cost

The turbine engine is very imporatant subsystem in the overall cost of the aircraft. The engine life cycle cost is as follows:



LCCae: is life cycle cost of the aircraft turbine engine.

TEDC: is development cost of turbine engine

TEPQC: is production quality cost of turbine engine

TEPIC: is part improvement cost of turbine engine

TEDMC: is depot maintenance cost of turbine engine

TEBMC: is base maintenance cost of turbine engine

8.4 Aircraft Cost Drivers

Many aircraft cost drivers are there and usually, they are grouped under the following three heads:



Operations and support


The design cost drivers are further divided into the three sub categories which include the following:

Reliability and maintainability requirements

Performance requirements


Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and Mean Time between Failures (MTBF) are two important elements of reliability and maintainability requirements.

In the same way, there are four elements of the performance requirements which include the followings:

Mission role




Finally, corrosion control and fatigue life are two elements of the specification.

Aluminum, steel, titanium and composite are the elements of the material category. Forgings, castings, sheet metal and machined parts are the some parts of the manufacturing process category. Wing and body are two very main elements of the structure category. The number of hard points, complexity of control surfaces and wet versus dry are included in the wing. In the same way, landing gear attachment and wing attachment are included in the body.

Landing gear and flight control are two main elements of the subsystem categories. The number of redundancies and mechanical versus fly-by-wire are the items of the flight control. Landing gear includes the items line brakes and number of wheels.

8.4.1 Helicopter Maintenance Cost Drivers

Helicopters are associated with so many maintenance cost drivers. For example power plants, rotor system, transmission, inspection and so many others are included in cost drivers for military helicopters. Normally, the roughly estimates of the direct maintenance cost is breakdown as a percentage of 29, 27, 12, 9 and 23, respectively. Blades (80%) and hub (20%) is the breakdown in the percentage of rotor system.

Additionally, seal leak is the major contributor to the rotor hub operations and support cost that is the result in lubricant loss and fluid. Foreign object damage and inability to repair damaged blades are also two major contributors to the rotor blade operations and support cost.

8.4.2 Aircraft Airframe Maintenance Cost Drivers

In the early 1970s, according to a study performed, the top nine airframe maintenance cost components were as follows:




Constant speed drive

Auxiliary power unit

Motor driven hydraulic pump

Nose landing gear wheel tires

Engine driven hydraulic pump

Flight control power control units

8.4.3 Combat Aircraft Hydraulic and Fuel Systems Cost Drivers

Combat aircraft hydraulic system cost drivers include the followings:

Accumulators (7%)

Valves (9%)

Filters (12%)

Plumbing (12%)

Others (14%)

Reservoirs (20%)

Pumps (26%)

Valves (33%), filters (8%), measurement (17%), pumps (27%) and other (15%) are the cost drivers of a combat aircraft fuel system.

6. Cargo Ship Life Cycle Cost

7. Operating and Support Costs for Ships

7.1 Formula I

7.2 Formula I

7.3 Formula III

7.4 Formula IV

8. Urban Rail Life Cycle Cost

9. Car Life Cycle Cos

10. City Bus Life Cycle Cost Estimation Model

11. Conclusion