Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Amy M. Cox, PhD


Airworthiness is a process of certifying that an aircraft can be safety operated within specified bounds. This process is essential to ensuring the safety of the aircraft, its personnel, and the surrounding assets. A Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach can be utilized as a method to improve the airworthiness process. MBSE is the methodology of creating and utilizing domain models as a means of exchanging and presenting information for a wide variety of disciplines to understand and replacing previous document-based exchange. The objective of this research is to develop a reference architecture with a MBSE approach to perform the airworthiness process loop. The model developed features a system model, stores airworthiness requirements and flight test data, performs analysis, and uses analysis outputs to satisfy and verify airworthiness requirements. The reference architecture was applied to a Dolphin helicopter in hover and takeoff conditions to demonstrate the effectiveness. The results of the demonstration provide a proof of concept for the successful implementation of an MBSE approach to the airworthiness certification process.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number