TsAGI specialists explore the prospects of aircraft with alternative fuels and energy sources
7 September 2017
In late August, the staff of the Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI, a member of the National Research Center" Institute named after N.E.Zhukovsky“) held a scientific-technical Council, where they presented the results of the final phase of the project “Research concepts, key technologies, concept and required infrastructure for the development of aircraft and helicopters using alternative sources of energy.”
The main task of the Institute was to search for the possibilities of using different types of alternative fuels and electric energy in aviation. As a consequence, there would be less reliance on hydrocarbon fuels, as well as a reduction in atmosphere emissions.
During the research TsAGI’s scientists explored aircraft with powerplants, including electrical components, compared their effectiveness, examined the main configuration of the aircraft with hybrid distributed of powerplant (HDPP), developed the concept of using the HDPP in cruise flight, and studied the risks. In addition, the experts proposed methods for improving the efficiency of flying equipment with electrical propulsion systems and methods of HDPP to propel convertiplane and multirotor aircraft. In addition to electricity, the scientists studied the possibilities, advantages and disadvantages of using cryogenic liquid fuels, aviation and isotope power sources.
“The use of electric and alternative energy sources in aircraft platforms has a number of advantages,” said the scientific project manager, head of the Department of system research and conceptual design of aerospace equipment of FSUE “TSAGI” Andrei Shustov. “The advantages are flight efficiency improvement, cost reduction, and pollutant reduction. The main factor limiting the use of electric energy in aviation is the energy storage devices, the batteries.”
The work of the scientific-technical Council was carried out in accordance with the technical specifications requirements of the Government contract, which were met. Recommendations were made to implement the resulting results.
The research and development project “Research concepts, key technologies, and making necessary infrastructure for the development of aircraft and helicopters on alternative sources of energy” under a contract with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation began in 2016. In addition to TsAGI, the project involves Russian research and educational organizations of the aviation industry.