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Methodology for sizing and optimising a Blended Wing-Body with distributed electric ducted fans

Sgueglia, Alessandro. Methodology for sizing and optimising a Blended Wing-Body with distributed electric ducted fans. PhD, aéronautique et Astronautique, ISAE-SUPAERO, 2019, 311 p.

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://www.theses.fr/2019ESAE0041


The increase of air traffic in the last decades and its projections pose a key challenge towards the carbon neutral growth objective. To cope with this societal goal, there is a need for disruptive air transport aircraft concepts featuring new technologies with low environmental impact. Such future air vehicle relies on the various interactions between systems, disciplines and components. This Ph.D. research thus focuses on the development of a methodology dedicated to the exploration and performance evaluation of unconventional configurations using innovative propulsion concepts. The use case to be considered is the optimisation at conceptual level of a Blended Wing-Body with distributed electric propulsion, a promising concept which combines high aerodynamic performances and benefits from electric propulsion. The optimisation process based on FAST, the ISAE-SUPAERO / ONERA aircraft sizing tool, has been implemented within OpenMDAO, the NASA open-source multidisciplinary analysis and optimisation framework. With the idea of a progressive enhancement of the multidisciplinary design analysis and a better capture of the different effects, the two pioneering elements have been studied separately. First, the classical process has been revised to take into account the new hybrid powerplant. Second, a methodology has been revised to consider a radically new airframe design. Last, a design process featuring both innovative aspects has been developed to investigate a Blended Wing Body concept with distributed electric propulsion. Concerning the design process, results show that the use of gradients in the optimisation procedure speeds up the process against a gradient-free method up to 70%. This is an important gain in time that facilitates designer’s tasks. For the disruptive concept performances, results have been compared to the ones obtained for a conventional A320 type aircraft based on the same top level requirements and technological horizon. Overall, the hybrid electric propulsion concept is interesting as it allows zero emissions for Landing/Take-Off operations, improving the environmental footprint of the aircraft: fuel can be saved for missions below a certain range. This limitation is associated to the presence of batteries: indeed they introduce indeed a relevant penalty in weight that cannot be countered by benefits of electrification for longer range. Additional simulations indicate that a Blended Wing-Body concept based on a turbo-electric only architecture is constantly performing better than the baseline within the limits of the assumptions.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales - ONERA (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Morlier, Joseph and Bartoli, Nathalie
Deposited On:09 Nov 2021 09:41

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