The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the challenges associated with the integration of an LH2-fuelled advanced hybrid-electric distributed propulsion system with the airframe. The airframe chosen as a case study is an ultra-high-capacity blended wing body configuration. It is designed to represent an A-380 class vehicle but in the 2025-2030 timeframe. The distributed propulsion system is a hybrid-electric concept that utilizes high-temperature superconducting technologies. The focus of the study is the application of LH2 as a fuel, with comment being given to kerosene and LCH4.
The study consists of a conceptual design developed through the preliminary design phase and part way into the detailed design phase.
The relationship between passenger capacity and fuel capacity is developed. Some remaining challenges are identified.
The study supports further conceptual design studies and more detailed system studies.
The study contributes to the development of more environmentally benign aviation technologies. The study may assist the development of solutions to the peak oil challenge.
The study explores the integration of a number of complex systems into an advanced airframe to an unusual depth of engineering detail.
The author acknowledges the support from NASA, under their Grant NNX13AI78G, which enabled some aspects of the study to be further developed. The author also wishes to acknowledge the contribution of staff and postgraduate students from the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University and, in particular, Anvesh Kadimi and Mohd Luqman Shamsuddin.
Smith, H. (2014), "Airframe integration for an LH2 hybrid-electric propulsion system", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 86 No. 6, pp. 562-567. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-04-2014-0045Download as .RIS
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