Mission Analysis and Aircraft Sizing of a Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft

viernes, 19 de agosto de 2016

The purpose of this study was to explore advanced airframe and propulsion technologies for a small regional transportaircraft concept (approximately 50 passengers), with the goal of creating a conceptual design that delivers significant cost and performance advantages over current aircraft in that class. In turn, this could encourage airlines to open up new markets, reestablish service at smaller airports, and increase mobility and connectivity for all passengers. To meet these study goals, hybrid-electric propulsion was analyzed as the primary enabling technology. The advanced regionalaircraft is analyzed with four levels of electrification, 0 percent electric with 100 percent conventional, 25 percent electric with 75 percent conventional, 50 percent electric with 50 percent conventional, and 75 percent electric with 25 percent conventional for comparison purposes. Engine models were developed to represent projected future turboprop engine performance with advanced technology and estimates of the engine weights and flowpath dimensions were developed. A low-order multi-disciplinary optimization (MDO) environment was created that could capture the unique features of parallel hybrid-electric aircraft. It is determined that at the size and range of the advanced turboprop: The battery specific energy must be 750 watt-hours per kilogram or greater for the total energy to be less than for a conventional aircraft. A hybrid vehicle would likely not be economically feasible with a battery specific energy of 500 or 750 watt-hours per kilogram based on the higher gross weight, operating empty weight, and energy costs compared to a conventional turboprop. The battery specific energy would need to reach 1000 watt-hours per kilogram by 2030 to make the electrification of its propulsion an economically feasible option. A shorter range and/or an altered propulsion-airframe integration could provide more favorable results.

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