This paper proposes a conceptual analysis of the limitations related to the development (and integration) of hybrid–electric propulsion on regional transport aircraft, with the aim to identify a feasibility space for this innovative aircraft concept. Hybrid–electric aircraft have attracted the interest of aeronautical research as these have the potential to reduce fuel consumption and, thus, the related greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, considering the development of such an aircraft configuration while keeping the constraints deriving from technological and/or operating aspects loose could lead to the analysis of concepts that are unlikely to be realised. In this paper, specifically to outline the boundaries constraining the actual development of such aircraft, the influence on overall aircraft design and performance of the main technological, operating, and design factors characterising the development of such a configuration is analysed and discussed at a conceptual level. Specifically, the current achievable gravimetric battery energy density (BED) is identified as the main limiting factor for the development of regional hybrid–electric aircraft, and a sensitivity analysis shows the correlation of this important technological parameter with aircraft performance in terms of both fuel consumption and energy efficiency. In this context, minimum technological development thresholds are therefore identified to enable the effective development of this type of aircraft; namely, a minimum of BED = 500 Wh/kg at battery pack level is identified as necessary to provide tangible benefits. From an operating point of view, flight distance is the most limiting design requirement, and a proper assessment of the design range is necessary if a hybrid–electric aircraft is to be designed to achieve lower emissions than the state of the art; flight ranges equal to or lower than 600 nm are to be considered for this type of aircraft. As a bridging of both of the previous constraints, a change in the design paradigm with respect to established practices for state-of-the-art aircraft is necessary. More specifically, penalisations in maximum take-off weight and overall aircraft energy efficiency may be necessary if the aim is to reduce direct in-flight consumption by means of integration of hybrid–electric powertrains.

Parametric analysis for hybrid-electric regional aircraft conceptual design and development

Palaia G.
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Abu Salem K.
Secondo
Methodology
;
Quarta A. A.
Ultimo
Supervision
2023-01-01

Abstract

This paper proposes a conceptual analysis of the limitations related to the development (and integration) of hybrid–electric propulsion on regional transport aircraft, with the aim to identify a feasibility space for this innovative aircraft concept. Hybrid–electric aircraft have attracted the interest of aeronautical research as these have the potential to reduce fuel consumption and, thus, the related greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, considering the development of such an aircraft configuration while keeping the constraints deriving from technological and/or operating aspects loose could lead to the analysis of concepts that are unlikely to be realised. In this paper, specifically to outline the boundaries constraining the actual development of such aircraft, the influence on overall aircraft design and performance of the main technological, operating, and design factors characterising the development of such a configuration is analysed and discussed at a conceptual level. Specifically, the current achievable gravimetric battery energy density (BED) is identified as the main limiting factor for the development of regional hybrid–electric aircraft, and a sensitivity analysis shows the correlation of this important technological parameter with aircraft performance in terms of both fuel consumption and energy efficiency. In this context, minimum technological development thresholds are therefore identified to enable the effective development of this type of aircraft; namely, a minimum of BED = 500 Wh/kg at battery pack level is identified as necessary to provide tangible benefits. From an operating point of view, flight distance is the most limiting design requirement, and a proper assessment of the design range is necessary if a hybrid–electric aircraft is to be designed to achieve lower emissions than the state of the art; flight ranges equal to or lower than 600 nm are to be considered for this type of aircraft. As a bridging of both of the previous constraints, a change in the design paradigm with respect to established practices for state-of-the-art aircraft is necessary. More specifically, penalisations in maximum take-off weight and overall aircraft energy efficiency may be necessary if the aim is to reduce direct in-flight consumption by means of integration of hybrid–electric powertrains.
2023
Palaia, G.; Abu Salem, K.; Quarta, A. A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1210047
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