This paper proposes a method of optimizing aircraft system architectures by considering the efficiencies of each energy conversion step necessary to fulfill the intended function. In addition, these conversion efficiencies need to be evaluated at all critical operating points for the systems involved (e.g. engine, generator, loads, etc.). The methodology starts with examining the energy sources on the aircraft, the energy loads and the energy transfer efficiencies between the sources and the loads. Modern aircraft architecture trends are broadly addressed along with a framework for applying this methodology, but specific aircraft are not analyzed due to the proprietary nature of some of the conversion efficiency data.