The complexity of the modern aeroengine has led to a fragmented, modular, and evolutionary design process which, due to the lack of methods for generating understanding about the design space, results in a potentially holistically suboptimal design. Technological maturity, environmental pressures and changing business models are among the challenges facing the industry today; thus, the need to understand and exploit the trade-offs between the economics of production, maintenance, and operating costs and understand their effects during the design process is increasingly important. The first steps toward increased design space exploration and understanding can be achieved by integrating multidisciplinary engine design tools. By coupling engine design tools via SignPosting, a design process management and optimisation technique with a hierarchical database to manage multiple fidelity data and confidences, we have developed an integrated engine design model (IED) with which “better” designs and multidisciplinary trade-offs can be explored and visualized. As aeroengine aerodynamics mature and business models change, the benefit of focusing on other performance variables increases and the definition of what constitutes “better” changes. Accordingly, we have used the IED to minimize the weight of an intermediate pressure compressor and uncooled turbine spool while maintaining aerodynamic performance. By taking three different approaches to the optimisation and using weight objectives of different resolutions (complete spool weight, turbine and compressor weight, and both blade and disc weights for the turbine and compressor separately), the implications of a more traditional approach, which uses the turbine and compressor weights, can be visualized. We also present an analysis of how multidisciplinary non-linearities are exploited to reduce spool weight.

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