The purpose of this paper is the multi-disciplinary conceptual investigation of a propulsive fuselage (PF) aircraft layout allowing for new performance synergies through closely coupled propulsion/airframe integration. The discussed aircraft layout facilitates the ingestion of the fuselage boundary layer and the utilization of wake filling, thus eliminating a significant share of fuselage drag.
Based on consistent book-keeping standards for conventionally installed and highly integrated propulsion systems, key aspects of conceptualisation regarding airframe and propulsion system are presented. As a result of this, a PF aircraft configuration is proposed featuring a fuselage fan power plant in conjunction with two under-wing podded power plants. Parametric models for integrated aircraft and propulsion system sizing and performance analysis are discussed that are suitable for the consistent mapping of the characteristics intrinsic to a PF layout. In an initial benchmarking exercise, the vehicular efficiency potentials of the previously identified PF configuration are evaluated against an advanced conventional reference aircraft.
During benchmarking, it was found that a best and balanced design for the proposed PF aircraft layout yields an increase in vehicular efficiency of approximately 10 per cent compared to the advanced conventional reference aircraft.
The paper gives the reader an idea for the efficiency potentials achievable through a PF aircraft configuration, as well as guidelines for aircraft sizing and integrational aspects. It may serve as a basis for advanced studies in the future.
The conceptual investigation of the PF concept idea, contributes to establishing the initial technical feasibility of this novel approach to synergistic propulsion system integration. The methods presented in this paper allow for the multi-disciplinary conceptual design sizing of a PF aircraft.
The authors would like to thank Prof Dr Mirko Hornung and Dr Askin T. Isikveren for valuable discussions and feedback. In particular, the authors would like to thank Hans-Jörg Steiner for his groundlaying research on the propulsive fuselage idea and Clément Pornet and Corin Gologan for their involvement in the definition of the reference aircraft system. The authors also would like to thank Alexander Prendinger and Michael Lagemann for CAD support and concept visualisation. This research was conducted within the European Commission co-funded FP7-L0 project DisPURSAL (Grant Agreement No. FP7-323013), involving the partners Office National d’Études et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA, France), Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM, Russia) and Airbus Group Innovations.
Seitz, A., Bijewitz, J., Kaiser, S. and Wortmann, G. (2014), "Conceptual investigation of a propulsive fuselage aircraft layout", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 86 No. 6, pp. 464-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-06-2014-0079Download as .RIS
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