Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1933

Energetic, Environmental and Range Estimation of Hybrid and All-Electric Transformation of an Existing Light Utility Commuter Aircraft 2018-01-1933

Today it is necessary to face the energetic, environmental, and safety-related issues of a significant industrial sector such as aeronautic one. It is a marginal contributor to today global GHG emissions (less than 3%), In any case, the associated impacts grows with the increase of air traffic with annual rate 5%. Consequently, aviation will need to face four fundamental problems for the future:
  1. 1
    the overall impact of aviation is expected to grow up to 10÷15% of global GHG emissions by 2050;
  2. 2
    the emissions of pollutants by commercial aviation affects the fragile atmospheric layers in the low stratosphere;
  3. 3
    the increasing age of the flying fleet deals with increasing maintenance and safety issues;
  4. 4
    the dependence on fossil fuels relates to problems of geopolitical instability and consequence volatility of prices.
Substantial innovations are expected for both reducing energy consumption and environmental impacts of aviation and reducing the age of the fleets. They mostly relate to the decrease of weights and the introduction of environmental friendly propulsion systems, such as hybrid and all-electric propulsion.
This paper will produce an assessment of different propulsive systems according to the first law of thermodynamics and environmental impacts. It assumes a well-tested light transport/commuter aircraft as reference architecture and produces a comparative analysis of different green propulsion systems including all electric and hybrid against actual aircrafts. The analysis assumes that the electric or hybrid configurations may not increase the overall mass of the aircraft. Energy model has been reformulated for the different configurations and considers both an analytical model based on basic flight mechanics and a new formulation of the Breguet range equation, which has been specifically formulated for both hybrid and all-electric airplanes.


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