A method of estimating the load-bearing fuselage weight and wing weight of transport aircraft based on fundamental structural principles has been developed. This method of weight estimation represents a compromise between the rapid assessment of component weight using empirical methods based on actual weights of existing aircraft, and detailed, but time-consuming, analysis using the finite element method. The method was applied to eight existing subsonic transports for validation and correlation. Integration of the resulting computer program, PDCYL, has been made into the weights-calculating module of the AirCraft SYNThesis (ACSYNT) computer program. ACSYNT has traditionally used only empirical weight estimation methods; PDCYL adds to ACSYNT a rapid, accurate means of assessing the fuselage and wing weights of unconventional aircraft. PDCYL also allows flexibility in the choice of structural concept, as well as a direct means of determining the impact of advanced materials on structural weight.