DLR/NASA-Design Challenge 2018: Cloudrider - Experimental Green Aircraft Concept
This project aims to identify future market and technology trends after that introduce a non-conventional, ultra-efficient aircraft design, which follows these and also complies with new NASA N+3 and European Union Flightpath 2050 requirements, especially focusing on the energy reduction and the alternative propulsion and energy systems. In this design study, within the framework of the Aircraft Design Challenge of the NASA and DLR will be a unique design and a novel propulsion system with three different energy sources investigated and implemented, in order to fulfil the strict requirements for the future aircraft design. The four main part of the design process are the analysis of the market demand, the aerodynamics, propulsion system and the investigation of feasibility with the help of comparison to the baseline aircrafts.
The aerodynamic design of the Cloudrider concept has a semi conventional, three lifting surface with a promising total wetted area reduction potential. To maximize the aerodynamic efficiency, high aspect ratio wings are deployed, equipped with hybrid laminar flow control (HLFC) devices. The non-regular hybrid-distributed-propulsion system with three different energy sources (LNG, kerosene and batteries) has many design challenges during the sizing process and also need a novel handling process solution. These challenges include, among others the engine optimization, which was conducted in the flexible modeling environment CycleTempo®. To achieve the prescribed energy reduction the operating mode of the gas turbine and the batteries was also investigated simulated based on in-house developed model implemented in Wolfram Mathematica®. In addition, with regards to motive power the proposal utilizes ducted fans run by High-Temperature Super-conducting (HTS) electric motors. The resulting optimized propulsion system combined with the novel airframe design of the Cloudrider concept had achieved 85% in total LTO NOx and 61% reduction in energy in payload km compared to the Boeing B737-900ER baseline aircraft.