Preliminary Design of Integrated Partial Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion Systems

Markus Pohl, Jo Köhler, Hagen Kellermann, Michael Lüdemann, Daniel Weintraub, Peter Jeschke, Mirko Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel tool for the modeling of partial turboelectric propulsion systems together with a corresponding case study for a commercial single-aisle aircraft. In order to reduce the environmental impact of air traffic, radically new aircraft and propulsion concepts with a high market penetration are needed. Partial turboelectric propulsion systems seem to offer a promising option to achieve this. For the development of these propulsion systems, a preliminary design tool with a homogeneous and sufficiently high fidelity, both for turbomachinery and electric components, is needed. To address this, the authors of this publication have developed a tool based on the GasTurb software. The models developed, in particular for the electric components which together form the electric powertrain, are described here. In the case study, which demonstrates the coupling of the developed tool with an aircraft design environment, a conventional turboprop baseline aircraft is compared to a derived aircraft which features a partial turboelectric propulsion system with wingtip propellers. The latter are intended to reduce the induced drag, enabling a reduction of the aircraft’s total shaft power demand compared to the conventional baseline aircraft. The comparison between the partial turboelectric aircraft and the baseline aircraft indicates that fuel reduction increases with power split. However, primarily increasing electric powertrain masses and a stagnating drag reduction result in lower additional fuel reductions for higher power splits. Despite these conclusions, the predicted induced drag reductions need further refinement as they were found to be optimistic. In summary, this publication presents a methodology and a set of physics-based component models for the preliminary design of partial turboelectric propulsion systems, so that the electric components can be investigated and optimized at the same high level of detail as the gas turbine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Global Power and Propulsion Society
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Electric component modeling
  • Electric machine
  • Electric powertrain
  • Partial turboelectric
  • Power electronics
  • Wingtip propeller


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