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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Marco Fioriti, Silvio Vaschetto, Sabrina Corpino and Giovanna Premoli

This paper aims to present the main results achieved in the frame of the TIVANO national-funded project which may anticipate, in a stepped approach, the evolution and the…

1040

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the main results achieved in the frame of the TIVANO national-funded project which may anticipate, in a stepped approach, the evolution and the design of the enabling technologies needed for a hybrid/electric medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to perform persistent intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) military operations.

Design/methodology/approach

Different architectures of hybrid-propulsion system are analyzed pointing out their operating modes to select the more suitable architecture for the reference aircraft. The selected architecture is further analyzed together with its electric power plant branch focusing on electric system architecture and the selected electric machine. A final comparison between the hybrid and standard propulsion is given at aircraft level.

Findings

The use of hybrid propulsion may lead to a reduction of the total aircraft mass and an increase in safety level. However, this result comes together with a reduced performance in climb phase.

Practical implications

This study can be used as a reference for similar studies and it provides a detailed description of propulsion operating modes, power management, electric system and machine architecture.

Originality/value

This study presents a novel application of hybrid propulsion focusing on a three tons class MALE UAV for ISR missions. It provides new operating modes of the propulsion system and a detailed electric architecture of its powertrain branch and machine. Some considerations on noise emissions and infra-red traceability of this propulsion, at aircraft level.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

P. Laskaridis, V. Pachidis and P. Pilidis

The performance benefits of boundary layer ingestion (BLI) in the case of air vehicles powered by distributed propulsors have been documented and explored extensively by…

1084

Abstract

Purpose

The performance benefits of boundary layer ingestion (BLI) in the case of air vehicles powered by distributed propulsors have been documented and explored extensively by numerous studies. Therefore, it is well known that increased inlet flow distortion due to BLI can dramatically reduce these benefits. In this context, a methodology that enables the assessment of different propulsion architectures, whilst accounting for these aerodynamic integration issues, is studied in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach

To calculate the effects of BLI-induced distortion, parametric and parallel compressor approaches have been implemented into the propulsion system analysis. The propulsion architectures study introduces the concept of thrust split between propulsors and main engines and also examines an alternative propulsor configuration. In the system analysis, optimum configurations are defined using thrust-specific fuel consumption as figure of merit.

Findings

For determined operating conditions, the system analysis found an optimum configuration for 65 per cent of thrust delivered by the propulsor array, which was attributed mainly to the influence of the propulsor’s intake losses. An alternative propulsor design, which used the ejector pump effect to re-energize the boundary layer, and avoiding the detrimental effects of BLI are also cited in this work.

Originality/value

To summarize, this paper contributes with a general review of the research that has been undertaken to tackle the aforementioned aerodynamic integration issues and, in this way, make viable the implementation of distributed propulsion systems with BLI.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 86 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Benjamin Schiltgen, Michael Green, Jeffrey Freeman and Andrew Gibson

This paper aims to create a terminal area operations (TAO) analysis software that can accurately appreciate the nuances of hybrid electric distributed propulsion (HEDP)…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to create a terminal area operations (TAO) analysis software that can accurately appreciate the nuances of hybrid electric distributed propulsion (HEDP), including unique failure modes and powered-lift effects.

Design/methodology/approach

The program was written in Visual Basic with a user interface in Microsoft Excel. It integrates newly defined force components over time using a fourth order Runge-Kutta scheme.

Findings

Powered-lift, HEDP failure modes and electrical component thermal limitations play significant roles on the performance of aircraft during TAO. Thoughtful design may yield better efficiency; however, care must be given to address negative implications. Reliability and performance can be improved during component failure scenarios.

Research limitations/implications

This program has and will support the investigation of novel propulsion system architectures and aero-propulsive relationships through accurate TAO performance prediction.

Practical implications

Powered-lift and HEDP architectures can be employed to improve takeoff and climb performance, both during nominal and component failure scenarios, however, reliance on powered-lift may result in faster approach speeds. High-lift and system failure behavior may also allow new approaches to design and sizing requirements.

Originality/value

This program is unique in both the public and private sectors in its broad capabilities for TAO analysis of aircraft with HEDP systems and powered-lift.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 86 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Changduk Kong

The propulsion system integration of a turboprop aircraft, which has been developed for the basic trainer, was performed. The proper turboprop engine was selected among…

4272

Abstract

The propulsion system integration of a turboprop aircraft, which has been developed for the basic trainer, was performed. The proper turboprop engine was selected among worldwide existing engines by the specific developed engine selection technique and trade‐off studies such as customer’s request for operational capability (ROC), propulsion system parameters, performance analysis with engine installed effects, future growth potential, integrated logistic support (ILS), maintainability, interfaces with the airframe, etc. The chin type air inlet with the plenum chamber was designed in consideration of the inclined configuration to minimize the propeller swirl effect, the inertial separation bypass device to reduce FOD, and the super‐ellipse and NACA‐1 profile lip to maximize the ram recovery. The air inlet was analyzed by a higher‐order source panel method considering propeller wake. The exhaust duct was designed through internal cross‐section area determination to maximize the cruising power as well as external configuration to maximize the effective power, to minimize the aerodynamic drag and to minimize the cockpit contamination by the exhaust gas. The proper oil cooler for the selected turboprop engine was determined with cooling requirements and the oil cooling inlet duct with NACA configuration was designed. The test of the propulsion system including the installation performance test with the effects of the air inlet, the exhaust duct, the propeller and the nose fuselage configuration was performed in the test cell.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2021

Mosab Alrashed, Theoklis Nikolaidis, Pericles Pilidis, Soheil Jafari and Wael Alrashed

Recent advancements in electrified transportation have been necessitated by the need to reduce environmentally harmful emissions. Accordingly, several aviation…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent advancements in electrified transportation have been necessitated by the need to reduce environmentally harmful emissions. Accordingly, several aviation organisations and governments have introduced stringent emission reduction targets for 2050. One of the most promising technologies proposed for achieving these targets is turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP). The objective of this study was to explore and identify key indicators for enhancing the applicability of TeDP in air transportation.

Design/methodology/approach

An enhancement valuation method was proposed to overcome the challenges associated with TeDP in terms of technological, economic and environmental impacts. The result indicators (RIs) were determined; the associated performance indicators (PIs) were analysed and the key RIs and PIs for TeDP were identified. Quantitative measurements were acquired from a simulated TeDP case study model to estimate the established key PIs.

Findings

It was determined that real-world TeDP efficiency could be enhanced by up to 8% by optimising the identified key PIs.

Originality/value

This study is the first to identify the key PIs of TeDP and to include a techno-economic environmental risk analysis (TERA) based on the identified key PIs. The findings could guide developers and researchers towards potential focus areas to realise the adoption of TeDP.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 71 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 December 2019

Ralph H. Jansen, Cheryl L. Bowman, Sean Clarke, David Avanesian, Paula J. Dempsey and Rodger W. Dyson

This paper aims to review national aeronautics and space administration (NASA’s) broad investments in electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP). NASA investments are guided by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review national aeronautics and space administration (NASA’s) broad investments in electrified aircraft propulsion (EAP). NASA investments are guided by an assessment of potential market impacts, technical key performance parameters, and technology readiness attained through a combination of studies, enabling fundamental research and flight research.

Design/methodology/approach

The impact of EAP varies by market and NASA is considering three markets as follows: national/international, on-demand mobility and short-haul regional air transport. Technical advances in key areas have been made that indicate EAP is a viable technology. Flight research is underway to demonstrate integrated solutions and inform standards and certification processes.

Findings

A key finding is that sufficient technical advances in key areas have been made, which indicate EAP is a viable technology for aircraft. Significant progress has been made to reduce EAP adoption barriers and further work is needed to transition the technology to a commercial product and improve the technology, so it is applicable to large transonic aircraft.

Practical implications

Significant progress has been made to reduce EAP adoption barriers and further work is needed to transition the technology to a commercial product and improve the technology, so it is applicable to large transonic aircraft.

Originality/value

This paper will review the activities of the hybrid gas-electric subproject of the Advanced Air Transport Technology Project, the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology Project and the X-57 Flight Demonstration Project, and discuss the potential EAP benefits for commercial and military applications. This paper focuses on the vehicle-related activities, however, there are related NASA activities in air space management and vehicle autonomy activities, as well as a breakthrough technology project called the Convergent Aeronautics Solutions Project. The target audience is people interested in EAP.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Howard Smith

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

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consists of a conceptual design developed through the preliminary design phase and part way into the detailed design phase.

Findings

The relationship between passenger capacity and fuel capacity is developed. Some remaining challenges are identified.

Practical implications

The study supports further conceptual design studies and more detailed system studies.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

The study explores the integration of a number of complex systems into an advanced airframe to an unusual depth of engineering detail.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 86 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1932

General G.A. Crocco

Having taken up our position on the above definition of this fundamental point, which closes the long‐standing discussion between upholders of the airscrew and those of…

Abstract

Having taken up our position on the above definition of this fundamental point, which closes the long‐standing discussion between upholders of the airscrew and those of the reaction system (just as in earlier days the distinction between impulse and work closed the classic discussion between the followers of Leibnitz and Descartes), we must now admit, without going into details, that this supposed attainment of equal efficiencies cannot be considered easy, if even possible, for the normal speeds of flight. It must also be admitted that a power unit, consisting of engine, compressor and jet, is at first sight a unit more complex, heavier and more bulky than the ordinary engine‐airscrew unit which has now been reduced to a high degree of simplicity and neatness. There is no doubt at all that in the sphere of the sub‐acoustic velocities the airscrew will reign supreme.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 4 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Amirhossein Adami, Mahda Mortazavi and Mehran Nosratollahi

For complex engineering problems, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) techniques use some disciplines that need to be run several times in different modules. In…

Abstract

Purpose

For complex engineering problems, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) techniques use some disciplines that need to be run several times in different modules. In addition, mathematical modeling of a discipline can be improved for each module. The purpose of this paper is to show that multi-modular design optimization (MMO) improves the design performances in comparison with MDO technique for complex systems.

Design/methodology/approach

MDO framework and MMO framework are developed to optimum design of a complex system. The nonlinear equality and inequality constrains are considered. The system optimizers included Genetic Algorithm and Sequential Quadratic Programming.

Findings

As shown, fewer design variables (optimization variables) are needed at the system level for MMO. Unshared variables are optimized in the related module when shared variables are optimized at the system level. The results of this research show that MMO has lower elapsed times (14 percent) with lower F-count (16 percent).

Practical implications

The monopropellant propulsion upper-stage is selected as a case study. In this paper, the efficient model of the monopropellant propulsion system is proposed. According to the results, the proposed model has acceptable accuracy in mass model (error < 2 percent), performance estimation (error < 6 percent) and geometry estimation (error < 10 percent).

Originality/value

The monopropellant propulsion system is broken down into the three important modules including propellant tank (tank and propellant), pressurized feeding (tank and gas) and thruster (catalyst, nozzle and catalysts bed) when chemical decomposition, aerothermodynamics, mass and configuration, catalyst and structure have been considered as the disciplines. The both MMO and MDO frameworks are developed for the monopropellant propulsion system.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Unmanned Systems, vol. 3 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-6427

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Forrest Bishop

Several spacecraft beam‐propulsion concepts are introduced. “Mesoparticle beam propulsion” uses a collimated beam of mesoscopic particles, very roughly on the order of a…

Abstract

Several spacecraft beam‐propulsion concepts are introduced. “Mesoparticle beam propulsion” uses a collimated beam of mesoscopic particles, very roughly on the order of a nanogram mass each. Molecular nanotechnologies may permit the inclusion of entire guidance systems in each particle. “Micro Lightsails for beam propulsion” proposes matter‐beams composed of small, thin film lightsails with nanoscale components. Pushing a spacecraft with small, high velocity lightsails may be currently viable. “Ultracold matter beam generators” are proposed as a new type of space‐based particle‐beam. Design‐variants include a laser‐cooled thermal jet and a laser‐cooled, neutralized‐ion beam. Possible uses include the shipment of condensed, ultracold matter through space, the formation of an “artificial aerobraking corridor”, and beam‐propulsion for micro and nanospacecraft.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 75 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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