The analysis and assessment of aircraft configurations and their impact on the air transporation system during the early stages of the design demand the interaction of several disciplinary computer models. When coupling models in a design environment the number of interfaces that need to be established, updated and maintained is the core argument for a central model approach. In the data-centralized approach not only does the number of interfaces decrease, but the analysis models become more independent, and changes in one model do not necessarily have impact on others. The central information model reflects the common name-space of the design team and can be seen as the meta-model for all instantiations during the analysis.
The Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration Schema (CPACS) is a data definition for the air transportation system. CPACS enables engineers to exchange information between their models. It is therefore a driver for multi-disciplinary and multi-fidelity design in distributed design environments. CPACS describes the characteristics of aircraft, rotorcraft, engines, climate impact, fleets and missions in a structured, hierarchical manner.