Sizing implications of a regional aircraft for inner-city operations

Philipp Heinemann, Michael Schmidt, Felix Will, Sascha Kaiser, Christoph Jeβberger, Mirko Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The paper aims to assess the potential of aircraft operation from city centres to achieve shortened travel times and the involved aircraft design process. Design/methodology/approach: The paper describes the methodical approach and iterative procedure of the design process. An assessment of potential technologies is conducted to provide the required enhancements to fulfil the constraints following an inner-city operation. Operational procedures were analysed to reduce the noise propagation through flight path optimization. Furthermore, a ground-based assisted take-off system was conceived to lower required take-off field length and to prevent engine sizing just for the take-off case. Cabin design optimization for a fast turnaround has been conducted to ensure a wide utilization spectrum. The results prove the feasibility of an aircraft developed for inner city operation. Findings: A detailed concept for a 60-passenger single aisle aircraft is proposed for an Entry-Into-Service year 2040 with a design range of 1,500 nautical miles for a load factor of 90 per cent. Although the design for Short Take-off and Landing and low noise operation had to be traded partly with cruise efficiency, a noteworthy reduction in fuel burn per passenger and nautical mile could be achieved against current aircraft. Practical implications: The findings will contribute to the evaluation of the feasibility and impact of the Flightpath 2050 goal of a 4-h door-to-door by providing a feasible but ambitious example. Furthermore, it highlights possible bottlenecks and problems faced when realizing this goal. Originality/value: The paper draws its value from the consideration of the overall sizing effects at aircraft level and from a holistic view on an inner-city airport/aircraft concept design for a 4-h door-to-door goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-534
Number of pages15
JournalAircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aircraft design
  • Annexed technologies
  • Low noise
  • Regional
  • STOL


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