Authors: John Olsen; John Page; Zoran Vulovic
Addresses: School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, UNSW Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., 2052, Australia ' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, UNSW Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., 2052, Australia ' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, UNSW Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., 2052, Australia
Abstract: To reduce an aircraft's fuel consumption, it is important to keep its weight to a minimum. In this work, we argue that it should be possible to design a light, hybrid powered aircraft with a weight similar to that of a conventionally powered aircraft. Having already identified the windmilling propeller as a means of harvesting energy during descending phases of aircraft operations (which is mission dependent), we consider the use of turbines and thermoelectric generators as an additional means of energy harvesting. These further means have the advantage of being essentially mission independent. Alternative possibilities for energy storage other than using (lithium-ion) batteries are also considered such as flywheels and pneumatic cylinders. We discuss energy saving strategies for engine start-up, engine run-up and taxiing. Finally, we carry out a simple power balance matching the power required to the power available to estimate the extent to which fuel consumption is reduced in the hybrid powered aircraft compared to the conventionally powered aircraft.
Keywords: hybrid aircraft; energy harvesting; flywheels; engine downsizing; thermoelectric generators; batteries; alternative energy storage; light aircraft; sustainable aviation; sustainability; fuel consumption; turbines; pneumatic cylinders; sustainable development; energy saving; engine start-up; engine run-up; aircraft taxiing; power balance.
International Journal of Sustainable Aviation, 2016 Vol.2 No.2, pp.128 - 148
Received: 17 Sep 2015
Accepted: 07 Mar 2016
Published online: 30 Aug 2016 *