How are we going to fly in 2035? The global passenger traffic is expected to keep growing at approximately 5% per year for the next 20 years, while the European policy aims at 75% less CO2 emissions until 2050. Aviation as a vital sector of our society and economy, is ensuring suitable mobility of passengers, is providing highly skilled jobs and generating economic growth.
CENTRELINE’s propulsive fuselage aircraft technology concept (PFC)
is tailored to contribute to the ambitious goals of the EU policy as defined in the Flightpath 2050.
CENTRELINE is set up to maximise the impact of the PFC technology on global emissions and climate, European leadership and the social acceptance of aviation. The CENTRELINE project will mature the concept of fuselage wake-filling propulsion integration for large commercial aircraft application from TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 1-2 to TRL 3-4.
The development of the concept features and the design solutions will be performed, critically reviewed and optimised for rapid further technology maturation to TRL 6 by 2030. CENTRELINE contributes to the EC Flightpath targets of an innovative, sustainable and highly competitive European aviation industry at different levels.
Decrease of the environmental impact of air vehicles
The Airbus Global Market Forcast (2017-2036)
predicts doubling of air traffic every 15 years. Without counter measures taken, this means doubled emissions in the same timeframe. Consequently, solutions, which are going beyond classical technologies, are urgently demanded to achieve an overall reduction of aviation’s climate impact by 2050. The CENTRELINE technology concept fully tackles the genuine potential for vehicular efficiency improvements associated with airframe wake-filling propulsion integration. Key
components will be synergistically combined and optimised at aircraft level, to reduce mission fuel consumption, and thus CO2 emissions by 11%. By means of its turbo-electric power system, an aircraft equipped with the CENTRLINE PFC technology would be readily prepared to perform electric and thus emission-free taxi when energy is drawn from a potential on-board electrical storage, i.e. battery system or similar.
Enhance the competitiveness of the European aviation industry
The competitiveness of the European aviation industry is based on its ability to provide commercial transport aircraft programs that meet the needs of the airlines and other stakeholders at the lowest operating costs. CENTRELINE is opening up great potential for European aviation industry to be in a technological leadership position for entering the global market with the highly efficient PFC
technology.To transfer research results to industry, CENTRELINE focuses on novel technologies with industrial relevance with close collaboration between universities, research institutes together and major European manufacturers: Airbus, MTU Aero Engines and Siemens.
Enhance the safety of civil aviation
The CENTRELINE twin-power-plant, tri-fan propulsion and system power layout will be elaborated to comply with contemporary standards of Configuration, Maintenance and Procedures (CMP). The design of all components and sub-systems will reflect best practices in reliability and redundancy. In specific, all components of the fuselage propulsor turbo-electric drive train are sized to maintain system functionality even under abnormal conditions and partial system failure.The design service goals as well as the mean times between overhaul and failure for electrical machinery, typically, exceed those of gas turbine engines, today. This is due
to the mechanical simplicity when compared to gas turbines as well as heat engines in general. The CENTRELINE technology concept will directly exploit these benefits. Moreover, the electrical motor and generators designed for the PFC and CENTRELINE will have the built-in capability of in-service health monitoring through highly time resolved measurements of coil current and voltage level fluctuations. This will allow a superior in-flight awareness of the overall aircraft health state, and hence, improve system safety and dispatch reliability.
Contribute to education, research and society
The CENTRELINE concept is one of the very few opportunities to successfully bring hybrid-electric mobility to large commercial aircraft application: It thereby helps directing further resources in research, development and education to most promising as well as scientifically and commercially profitable technology concepts. The investments made in research and innovation in the CENTRELINE project and beyond will secure and generate highly skilled employment in industry as well as in academia. A high level of
academic education will be maintained at the academic partners to educate high-level young engineers. Several PhDs researchers will work on various topics of interest to the aircraft and propulsion system community. The publications produced through this research will be relevant to a large community of academic and industry researchers. The labour market will be strengthened by securing and creating new employment opportunities in the field of engineering and highly qualified craftsmen on production sites.
Maximise potential for innovation
The CENTRELINE project and its technology concept are set up to maximise the potential for innovation. Because of the long product life cycle durations and late return on investment, affordability is the key to bringing disruptive technologies to the aviation market. Affordability is greatly enhanced if synergistic integration of disruptive technologies is achieved without discarding major design paradigms of successful conventional systems. By retaining particularly beneficial properties of a conventional aircraft layout,
the CENTRELINE technology concept significantly enhances overall system compatibility, and thereby, avoiding the necessity of fundamental changes at airport level. The tube and wing configuration, furthermore, allows future small-scale demonstrator testing to be performed through retrofitting existing aircraft, thus enabling rapid technology validation and demonstration in a relevant environment (TRL 6).