Design, operational and environmental assessment of a hybrid-electric aircraft

Anna E. Scholz, Johannes Michelmann, Mirko Hornung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


While literature about the design and assessment of hybrid-electric aircraft (HEA) often refers to the potential CO2eq emission reductions compared to reference aircraft on a single design mission, this paper focuses on a more holistic approach including the emissions of other pollutants in-flight and on the ground using a 1D climate model and the climate metric sustained global temperature potential with a time horizon of 100 years (SGTP100). Besides the design of an HEA and analysis of its design mission, the fleet adoption of new HEA concepts is investigated taking into account production capacities and air traffic growth scenarios. Based on these evaluations, an integrated methodology is developed to determine the climate impact of a given HEA concept on a fleet-wide scale considering the aircraft’s operational environment in the global aviation market. For a single-aisle short to medium-range HEA, it is shown that the climate impact on the design mission compared to a conventional reference aircraft could be reduced by up to 11.4% SGTP100, assuming a battery specific energy of 1500 wh/kg and renewable electricity production. Disparities regarding the use of CO2eq as a metric indicate that a holistic approach using the SGTP100 as a metric is better suited for evaluating the climate impact reduction potential of HEA. The fleet adoption of HEA until 2050 is approximated under various input assumptions. Similar results to a conventional reference fleet concerning fleet counts as well as transport performance lead to the conclusion of comparability of fleets containing HEA and a conventional reference fleet. While an integrated methodology for fleet-wide climate impact assessment has been developed, its application on a test case proved difficult due to the non-availability of simple climate models. However, via the share of available seat kilometers of the HEAs, the order of magnitude of the fleet-wide climate impact reduction potential of a 2050 HEA fleet compared to a 2050 reference fleet is estimated to be in the low single-digit percentage range.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781624106095
StatePublished - 2021
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 11 Jan 202115 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021
CityVirtual, Online


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