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Distributed Propulsion and Ultra-high By-pass Rotor Study at Aircraft Level


The objectives defined in “Flightpath 2050” as well as the limited availability of fossil fuels call for significant reductions in fuel consumption in the air transport sector. Novel propulsion concepts are thus a field of intense research, with particular trends that emerge: hybrid energy sources may not only be more efficient, but open up new degrees of freedom in terms of airframe-engine integration. The power plant system can be fully or partially embedded in the airframe, and thus exploit the benefits of boundary layer ingestion and wake filling, which have proven to allow lower power requirements. However, despite the established advantages of such integrated propulsion concepts, little effort has been expended to examine the practical implementation in realistic aircraft systems. The project DisPURSAL investigates the impact of novel propulsion concepts in a holistic manner, covering the aspects of power generation and drive chain architectures as well as engine-airframe integration together with the impact on aircraft performance and emissions. The project is set up around two case studies, namely a “distributed propulsion concept” with multiple propulsive devices, and a “propulsive fuselage concept” featuring a propulsive device encircling the fuselage. Starting from the definition of realistic operational and systems requirements, initial concept exploration and down-selection define a baseline and feed into a multi-disciplinary design optimization process, which quantifies the efficiency potentials at aircraft level. Detailed numerical flow simulation is used to evaluate the strong interaction of airframe and propulsion. DisPURSAL shows the potential of distributed propulsion and highlights synergy effects with turbo-electric aircraft architectures. A technology roadmap derived in the project will contribute to establish distributed propulsion as a serious option for future air transport and sustain the competitiveness of the European aviation industry.

Call for proposal

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Willy messerschmitt strasse 1
82024 Taufkirchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Landkreis
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Laurence Ruf (Mrs.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (3)