Can someone please explain citing an example Aircraft an approximate breakdown of the cost incurred in developing each part of the aircraft( fuselage, engine choices) and other things like certification that allow it to be sold to the public. Preferably an example of a plane with a clean sheet design like the Concorde which was nothing like other planes of the time.

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    $\begingroup$ This is a little broad, are we talking about something like a 787, or the Icon A5? Its different for every company, for example the A5 was probably a lot more expensive for Icon to develop than it would have been for Cessna because they essentially built a company around an aircraft, where Cessna would have had the engineering resources and experience... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 13, 2016 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ How about a radical plane like the Concorde. 787 I believe shares parts with other boeing aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – user12782
    Jan 13, 2016 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt you are going to find a good cost breakdown like you want, this article says that the estimated cost was 162m GBP, but in reality the cost was 8 times that (1.3b GBP, ~5.42b in todays dollars) by the time it entered service. By the way, the Concorde was remarkably similar to the Valkyrie, and was developed from the Bristol Type 223. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 13, 2016 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have such a breakdown of ANY plane? $\endgroup$
    – user12782
    Jan 13, 2016 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I do not, nor can I find any such information on the internet. This is probably difficult to find because it may reveal information about supplier contracts with certain companies. For example BAE didn't develop the engines, they bought them, which required a supplier contract and a negotiated price for the engines, which may not be public information. Same with the suppliers for all other materials or outsourced engineering. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 13, 2016 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


This Powerpoint has some pretty solid data in it in terms of the general relationship of cost to sales and what not. In the end of the day you simply cant find these numbers unless the company is willing to share them (which they generally are not).

Here is a very dated paper from the airforce that also talks a bit about what you are looking for.

This poorly cited answer states its cost Cirrus $150,000,000 to develop their new Vision Jet.

A few side notes

  • The Concorde is not a great example of developing an airplane when it comes to cost analysis. BAE (the company that designed and built it, was BAC at the time) had most of their cost undercut by the British and French Governments at the time. The program cost an estimated 1.3 Billion Pounds Sterling and was as much about national pride as it was building a fast plane. You can find some great info on it here (48:20).

  • Older airframes like the Cessna 172 right on up through the Boeing 737 were built and certified in a very different time. Regulations were different and generally looser. As such it would be useless to compare the cost to get a type certificate when these planes came out with getting one today. At the same time these planes are both still in production. For what its worth the cost of keeping that type certificate up could be brought into the equation.