Comparative study of hydrogen and kerosene commercial aircraft with advanced airframe and propulsion technologies for more sustainable aviation

Present work performs a comparative study of two medium-range commercial jets with future airframe and propulsion technologies powered by hydrogen and kerosene fuel to achieve a substantial reduction in overall aviation emissions. The study aims to investigate the cumulative effect of different energy networks combined with airframe efficiency gains achieved by aircraft-related technologies to suggest a better option for the potential next-generation commercial aircraft similar to the Airbus A320. Advanced airframe and engine technologies include laminar flow control, active load alleviation, new materials and structures, and ultra-high bypass ratio turbofan engines. Two aircraft with hydrogen and kerosene propulsion systems were sized to compare their performance characteristics, equivalent CO2 emission, and direct operating costs. The design was performed using a multi-fidelity approach and included the effects of future airframe technologies and the hydrogen propulsion system. The design comparison showed a significant contribution of airframe and propulsion technologies in achieving more environmentally friendly aircraft. The green hydrogen option showed a 41–63% reduction in overall emissions compared to the kerosene aircraft depending on flight conditions while the blue hydrogen variant achieved a 21–26% reduction level. A rather optimistic price scenario shall be met to enable an operational benefit of green hydrogen while the blue hydrogen variant has more potential of being economically acceptable by the market. In circumstances when operating costs drive the decision-making more than emissions, kerosene may be a more favorable option as a compromise between emission and costs, given the positive effect of airframe and propulsion technologies.


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  • Accession Number: 01886554
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2023 4:57PM