Viability Study of an Electrified Regional Turboprop


The growth in hydrocarbon emissions and greenhouse gases, created by the aviation industry, has led to the demand of multilateral efforts to investigate ways to reduce aviation’s effect on the environment. One of these efforts explores electrification of propulsion systems as a means to decrease fuel consumption and thus hydrocarbon emissions. In this report, the hybridization of regional turboprops is investigated. Here, it is argued that the hybridization of the regional class will enhance the technology and systems readiness levels to enable the hybridization of the single-aisle market, which represents a substantial portion of all aviation emissions. To assess the viability of a hybridized turboprop, a fuel-burn comparison is made between a notional 74-passenger turboprop fitted with 2030, 2040, and 2050 technologies and their respective hybridized versions. For this analysis, technologies are modeled as high-level scaling factors of weight, propulsion, and aerodynamics characteristics. Based on the analyses of the models, it was seen that a 2050 hybridized concept resulted in a 5.90% fuel reduction, on its typical mission, and 3.93%, on its design mission, when compared to the BIC non-hybridized counterparts. This level of fuel burn reduction could have a large impact in today’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction efforts.

2022 IEEE/AIAA Transportation Electrification Conference and Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium (ITEC+EATS)