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Sizing implications of a regional aircraft for inner-city operations

Philipp Heinemann (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., Taufkirchen, Germany)
Michael Schmidt (Munich Aerospace, Taufkirchen, Germany)
Felix Will (Institute of Aircraft Design, Technical University of Munich, Garching, Germany)
Sascha Kaiser (Visionary Aircraft Concepts, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Taufkirchen, Germany)
Christoph Jeßberger (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., Taufkirchen, Germany)
Mirko Hornung (Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Munich, Germany)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The paper aims to assess the potential of aircraft operation from city centres to achieve shortened travel times and the involved aircraft design process.


The paper describes the methodical approach and iterative procedure of the design process. An assessment of potential technologies is conducted to provide the required enhancements to fulfil the constraints following an inner-city operation. Operational procedures were analysed to reduce the noise propagation through flight path optimization. Furthermore, a ground-based assisted take-off system was conceived to lower required take-off field length and to prevent engine sizing just for the take-off case. Cabin design optimization for a fast turnaround has been conducted to ensure a wide utilization spectrum. The results prove the feasibility of an aircraft developed for inner city operation.


A detailed concept for a 60-passenger single aisle aircraft is proposed for an Entry-Into-Service year 2040 with a design range of 1,500 nautical miles for a load factor of 90 per cent. Although the design for Short Take-off and Landing and low noise operation had to be traded partly with cruise efficiency, a noteworthy reduction in fuel burn per passenger and nautical mile could be achieved against current aircraft.

Practical implications

The findings will contribute to the evaluation of the feasibility and impact of the Flightpath 2050 goal of a 4-h door-to-door by providing a feasible but ambitious example. Furthermore, it highlights possible bottlenecks and problems faced when realizing this goal.


The paper draws its value from the consideration of the overall sizing effects at aircraft level and from a holistic view on an inner-city airport/aircraft concept design for a 4-h door-to-door goal.



As with all design and integration efforts, this paper is a product of a collective effort. In this instance owing to nature of the problem a good measure of innovative thinking and technical excellence was exhibited by the members of the Bauhaus Luftfahrt Inter-disciplinary Design Team. The following are recognized for their most valued contribution to the CityBird and CentAirStation initial technical assessment exercise: Valentin Batteiger, Julian Bijewitz, Ingrid Kirchmann, Ulrich Kling, Lukas Miltner, Oluwaferanmi Oguntona, Annika Paul, Kay Plötner, Florian Riegel, Arne Roth, Raoul Rothfeld, Christoph Schinwald, Michael Shamiyeh, Anne Stroh, Marcia Urban.


Heinemann, P., Schmidt, M., Will, F., Kaiser, S., Jeßberger, C. and Hornung, M. (2017), "Sizing implications of a regional aircraft for inner-city operations", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 520-534.



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