2005-12_nlr_aviation_fuel_efficiency

2005-12_nlr_aviation_fuel_efficiency - Nationaal Lucht...

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Unformatted text preview: Nationaal Lucht Nationaal Lucht Nationaal Lucht Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimt en Ruimt en Ruimt en Ruimtevaartlaboratorium evaartlaboratorium evaartlaboratorium evaartlaboratorium National Aerospace Laboratory NLR NLR-CR-2005-669 Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft Fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft An overview of historical and future trends Peeters P.M. 1 , Middel J., Hoolhorst A. No part of this report may be reproduced or disclosed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the owner. Customer: T&E Contract number: Owner: Peeters Advies / NLR Division: Air Transport Distribution: Limited Classification title: Unclassified November 2005 Approved by: Author Reviewer Managing department 1 Peeters Advies, Ede, The Netherlands -2- -3- Summary This report assesses how the fuel efficiency of commercial aircraft has developed since their introduction in the 1930s. Existing estimates, such as the oft-cited 70% improvement from the IPCC Special Report on Aviation and the Global Atmosphere, ignore the record of the pre-jet era. Based on bottom-up (micro) and top-down (macro) analyses of aircraft fuel efficiency, it can be concluded that the last piston-powered aircraft were as fuel-efficient as the current average jet. This result was obtained by comparing several large piston-engined aircraft with both old and new jet airliners and was confirmed by the macro analysis, which reveals a sharp increase in fuel consumption per seat-kilometre as piston-engined aircraft were replaced by jet- engined. The last piston-powered airliners were at least twice as fuel-efficient as the first jet-powered aircraft. Aircraft fuel efficiency is just one of the design parameters of interest to aircraft designers and the market. The common practice of defining future cuts in energy consumption per seat-kilometre in terms of a constant annual percentage reduction is therefore not very accurate. It ignores the fact that current aircraft configurations can never achieve zero fuel consumption. Nor does it take into account that the annual reduction rate is not a constant, but is itself also falling, as clearly demonstrated by both macro and micro analysis. This means that many studies on predicted future efficiency gains are rather optimistic. -4- T he German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is gratefully acknowledged for funding this study. -5- Contents 1 Introduction 7 2 Energy consumption and air transport 9 2.1 Some theoretical considerations 9 2.2 Earlier historical research results 9 3 The IPCC figure: data and assumptions 11 4 Micro analysis 14 5 Macro analysis 19 6 Synthesis of results and discussion 23 6.1 Micro analysis 23 6.2 Macro analysis 25 6.3 Comparing micro and macro data 26 6.4 Comparing pistons and jets 27 7 Conclusions 30 Annexes 32 Annex I. Units 32 Annex II. Abbreviations 33 Annex III. Converting number of seats to available revenue ton-kilometres 34 References 36 (37 pages in total) -6-...
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2005-12_nlr_aviation_fuel_efficiency - Nationaal Lucht...

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