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Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion in a Hybrid Wing Body AircraftThe performance of the N3-X, a 300 passenger hybrid wing body (HWB) aircraft with turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP), has been analyzed to see if it can meet the 70% fuel burn reduction goal of the NASA Subsonic Fixed Wing project for N+3 generation aircraft. The TeDP system utilizes superconducting electric generators, motors and transmission lines to allow the power producing and thrust producing portions of the system to be widely separated. It also allows a small number of large turboshaft engines to drive any number of propulsors. On the N3-X these new degrees of freedom were used to (1) place two large turboshaft engines driving generators in freestream conditions to maximize thermal efficiency and (2) to embed a broad continuous array of 15 motor driven propulsors on the upper surface of the aircraft near the trailing edge. That location maximizes the amount of the boundary layer ingested and thus maximizes propulsive efficiency. The Boeing B777-200LR flying 7500 nm (13890 km) with a cruise speed of Mach 0.84 and an 118100 lb payload was selected as the reference aircraft and mission for this study. In order to distinguish between improvements due to technology and aircraft configuration changes from those due to the propulsion configuration changes, an intermediate configuration was included in this study. In this configuration a pylon mounted, ultra high bypass (UHB) geared turbofan engine with identical propulsion technology was integrated into the same hybrid wing body airframe. That aircraft achieved a 52% reduction in mission fuel burn relative to the reference aircraft. The N3-X was able to achieve a reduction of 70% and 72% (depending on the cooling system) relative to the reference aircraft. The additional 18% - 20% reduction in the mission fuel burn can therefore be attributed to the additional degrees of freedom in the propulsion system configuration afforded by the TeDP system that eliminates nacelle and pylon drag, maximizes boundary layer ingestion (BLI) to reduce inlet drag on the propulsion system, and reduces the wake drag of the vehicle.
Document ID
20120000856
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Felder, James L. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Brown, Gerald V. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
DaeKim, Hyun (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Chu, Julio (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
September 12, 2011
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
ISABE-2011-1340
E-18064
Meeting Information
20th International Society for Airbreathing Engines (ISABE 2011)(Gothenburg)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 561581.02.08.03.13.11
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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