Aerospace Vehicle Costs

The Missile Defense Equation: Factors for Decision Making by Peter J. Mantle (for the idea and the first equation)

Computing Aerodynamic Missile Costs

CostMissile = 0.0043 * Weight0.85


CostMissile = Cost of the missile in millions of FY2003 dollars.
Weight = The weight of the missile in kilograms.
Notes: This is based off a trendline for an aerodynamic missile cost/weight database from AIM-54s to HARMs, to Tomahawks, etc. Costs may vary from the number given by a large deal. You can generate your own trendline by toting up the average unit costs for a wide spectrum of aerodynamic missiles as well as their weights; then deriving an equation similar to the above one from it.

Example: What would the rough cost of a 45,000 lb (20,411 kg) cruise missile be? Yes. I love Project PLUTO.

0.0043 * 20,4110.85= $19.81 million.

Computing 1950s US Jet Aircraft Costs

CostAircraft = 0.01 * Weight0.54


CostAircraft = Cost of the aircraft in millions of 1950s dollars.
Weight = The empty weight of the aircraft in pounds.

Example: What would the rough cost of an aircraft that weighed half a million pounds empty in the 1950s be?

0.01 * 500,0000.54= $11.95 million in 1950s dollars.