The Enabling Technologies for a Quasi-Zero Emissions Commuter Aircraft

Danilo Ciliberti, Pierluigi Della Vecchia, Vittorio Memmolo, Fabrizio Nicolosi, Guido Wortmann, Fabrizio Ricci
2022 Aerospace (Basel)  
The desire for greener aircraft pushes both academic and industrial research into developing technologies, manufacturing, and operational strategies providing emissions abatement. At time of writing, there are no certified electric aircraft for passengers' transport. This is due to the requirements of lightness, reliability, safety, comfort, and operational capability of the fast air transport, which are not completely met by the state-of-the-art technology. Recent studies have shown that new
more » ... ro-propulsive technologies do not provide significant fuel burn reduction, unless the operational ranges are limited to short regional routes or the electric storage capability is unrealistically high, and that this little advantage comes at increased gross weight and operational costs. Therefore, a significant impact into aviation emissions reduction can only be obtained with a revolutionary design, which integrates disruptive technologies starting from the preliminary design phase. This paper reviews the recent advances in propulsions, aerodynamics, and structures to present the enabling technologies for a low emissions aircraft, with a focus on the commuter category. In fact, it is the opinion of the European Community, which has financed several projects, that advances on the small air transport will be a fundamental step to assess the results and pave the way for large greener airplanes.
doi:10.3390/aerospace9060319 fatcat:hmgtoood7zgntcfqhfn43gtxie