The aim of the paper is to establish the COst-Specific Air Range (COSAR) as a new figure-of-merit based on the cost of energy to optimise the flight profile of a hybrid energy aircraft.
After reviewing the expression and the application of the specific air range (SAR) and of the energy-specific air range (ESAR), the need of a new figure-of-merit for flight technique optimisation of hybrid energy aircraft is motivated. Based on the specific cost of the energies consumed, the mathematical expression of COSAR is derived. To enable optimum economics operations, a cost index (CI) derivation is introduced for a variety of hybrid-electric concepts to consider the additional time-related cost. The application of COSAR and of the CI is demonstrated for cruise optimisation of a hybrid-electric retrofit aircraft concept.
As a consequence of the consumption of multiple energy sources in a hybrid aircraft, optimisation according to the objective functions SAR and ESAR leads to minimum in-flight CO2 emissions and minimum energy consumption for a given stage length. While the optimisation of a single energy source aircraft according to these figures-of-merit directly results in minimum energy cost for a given unit range, this statement is no longer true for hybrid-energy aircraft. Consequently, introducing a new figure-of-merit established on the specific cost of the energies consumed enables flight technique optimisation for minimum energy cost of hybrid-energy aircraft. Additionally, the related time-cost is taken into account by means of a CI definition for minimum operating cost.
COSAR may serve as an alternative to SAR used today as the standard figure-of-merit for fuel optimised flight profile. Using COSAR and the CI allow airlines to adapt the flight profiles of hybrid-energy aircraft fleets according to the energy market price and their related cost of time to determine optimum economical flight profile.
Using COSAR as a figure-of-merit, the flight profile of hybrid energy aircraft can be optimised for minimum energy cost. Time-related costs are considered for optimum operating economics by utilisation of the CI definition for hybrid energy aircraft.
The authors would like to thank Dr Askin Isikveren and Dr Kay Plötner for fruitful discussions and valuable advice.
Pornet, C., Kaiser, S. and Gologan, C. (2014), "Cost-based flight technique optimization for hybrid energy aircraft", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 86 No. 6, pp. 591-598. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-05-2014-0075Download as .RIS
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