Aircraft Design for Reduced Climate Impact

Aircraft Design for Reduced Climate Impact

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Aircraft affect global climate through emissions of greenhouse gases and their precursors and by altering cirrus cloudiness. Changes in operations and design of future aircraft may be necessary to meet goals for limiting climate change. One method for reducing climate impacts involves designing aircraft to fly at altitudes where the impacts of NOx emissions are less severe and persistent contrail formation is less likely. By considering these altitude effects and additionally applying climate mitigation technologies, impacts can be reduced by 45-70% with simultaneous savings in total operating costs. Uncertainty is assessed, demonstrating that relative climate impact savings can be expected despite large scientific uncertainties. Strategies for improving climate performance of existing aircraft are also explored, revealing potential climate impact savings of 20-40%, traded for a 2% increase in total operating costs and reduced maximum range.Despite savings in fuel costs, this low speed design has 6% higher total operating costs, owing to lower per-unit utilization rates and increased crew and maintenance costs associated with long flight times. The minimum fuel ... By cruising at Mach 0.5 and 20, 000 ft, atmospheric impacts from NOx, contrails, and cirrus are essentially eliminated and climate impacts are almost entirely due to CO2 emissions.

Title:Aircraft Design for Reduced Climate Impact
Author: Emily Dallara
Publisher:Stanford University - 2011

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