jorisdebont
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Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:29 pm

Hello everyone,

I'm in my final year of High School, and because it's my final year I have to do a big research project.
I knew that I wanted to do the project about aviation, I just needed to figure out what in particular.
Because the topic has to be actual as well, I chose for "Efficiency in the Aviation industry" as my main research question.
As subtopics I divided the project into 3 main segments : 1) Aerodynamics, 2) Engines and 3) Airline management.

In my first segment I want to focus my attention to the effects of aerodynamic benefits on the fuel consumption and the MTOW. And of course winglets and their benefits to fuel consumption / range extension.
And because I want to build something as well I want to build 4 small airplanes with different wing designs. Probably with foam, bus suggestions are welcome.

The second segment is about advances in propulsion. Going from props to turbo props and into the jet age. I can find a lot of info about the last 70 years in airplane propulsion, so I'm probably going to focus on this time period. But I want to include some recent developments and if possible future developments as well (Boeing 787).

And finally the third segment, this is about the management aspect of aviation efficiency. Airplanes never spend long amounts of time grounded and are scheduled so that they have a minimum of "down time". I am going to try to get an interview with someone at KLM or other wise at Schiphol, and ask them about their view on efficiency in aviation and where it can be improved.

But now my question to you.
Could you help me with finding information on “Efficiency in the aviation industry”, and also help provide ideas about the subject?

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Joris de Bont.
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:55 pm

Not that I'm an expert, but It doesn't seem very coherent to me.

Efficiency is a very wide subject.
If by 'efficiency' you mean 'fuel efficiency', then yours subjects should remain technical, as in: Engines, Aerodynamics, Weight control, Flight procedures or something like that.

If it's about the economical aspects of that efficiency, not just the fuel, then you must include every facet of the operation, operations, maintenance, labor costs, acquisition of more efficient assets and their amortization, etc. In which case the area to cover is huge...

My .02 pesos.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:08 pm

Quoting jorisdebont (Thread starter):
Could you help me with finding information on “Efficiency in the aviation industry”, and also help provide ideas about the subject?

The marvelous book "The Jet Engine", published by Rolls-Royce, could be a good resource for the engine part.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:28 am

Quoting jorisdebont (Thread starter):
And because I want to build something as well I want to build 4 small airplanes with different wing designs. Probably with foam, bus suggestions are welcome.

If you have access to a CNC machine, foam is great. It's very quick and, if you run some coating plastic over it, looks pretty good too.

Quoting jorisdebont (Thread starter):
But I want to include some recent developments and if possible future developments as well (Boeing 787).

I strongly second Starlionblue's recommendation of RR's "The Jet Engine":
http://www.rolls-royce.com/about/publications/jet_engine_book/

Quoting jorisdebont (Thread starter):
But now my question to you.
Could you help me with finding information on “Efficiency in the aviation industry”, and also help provide ideas about the subject?

Sure, but you'll need to be more specific. You've chosen a very broad topic.

Tom.
 
jorisdebont
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:50 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 1):
If by 'efficiency' you mean 'fuel efficiency', then yours subjects should remain technical, as in: Engines, Aerodynamics, Weight control, Flight procedures or something like that.

If it's about the economical aspects of that efficiency, not just the fuel, then you must include every facet of the operation, operations, maintenance, labor costs, acquisition of more efficient assets and their amortization, etc. In which case the area to cover is huge...

With efficiency I meant fuel efficiency, I meant to go further in on stuff like Engines, Aerodynamics and flight procedures. I am going to order the RR's book. The aerodynamics part of a plane is a very broad subject, and one that I want to narrow down to a couple of key points. And those are: Winglets and the new wing on the 787 and how that enhances it's performance. Am I missing any key points here?

But weight control sounds interesting as well. But apart from the obvious fact that taking more weight with you will negatively affect your flight performance, how can weight control actually enhance flight performance?
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:13 am

Quoting jorisdebont (Reply 4):
But weight control sounds interesting as well. But apart from the obvious fact that taking more weight with you will negatively affect your flight performance, how can weight control actually enhance flight performance?

Weight directly affects performance in the form of fuel consumption, runway use and payload capability. As you say, obvious.  
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:20 pm

Quoting jorisdebont (Reply 4):
how can weight control actually enhance flight performance?

There's also CG control (aka weight distribution control)...used by Airbus to reduce trim drag, used by Concorde to handle Mach tuck (and maybe trim drag?).

Tom.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:18 pm

Quoting jorisdebont (Reply 4):
But weight control sounds interesting as well. But apart from the obvious fact that taking more weight with you will negatively affect your flight performance, how can weight control actually enhance flight performance?

Weight is king when it comes to fuel burn. Aerodynamic drag is important, but reducing the empty weight of the airplane is crucial. Every pound requires more fuel. It also eats into useable payload. By keeping the empty weigh of the airplane down, fuel burn goes down and profits go up. Lower weight also allows more useable payload.

There are a few ways to look at it. One interesting way is the airplane components are designed for a certain number of calendar years (corrosion related), cycles and flight hours. When an airplane is initially designed, these numbers for predicted life are chosen. Everything has to be designed to meet a minimum life which is typically related to the established lifetime of the airplane. For example, a narrowbody is going to be designed for between 48,000 cycles to 80,000 cycles depending on the model and manufacturer. In order to keep weight down, it is advantageous to choose a lower number of cycles because more robust designs that last longer also weigh more. As airplanes age, the number of cycles that they were originally designed for matters as components start failing and breaking and maintenance costs increase.

I could spend days going on about that, but weight is king. I hope I answered your question a little!
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
jorisdebont
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 7):
Weight is king when it comes to fuel burn. Aerodynamic drag is important, but reducing the empty weight of the airplane is crucial. Every pound requires more fuel. It also eats into useable payload. By keeping the empty weigh of the airplane down, fuel burn goes down and profits go up. Lower weight also allows more useable payload.

What has a bigger impact on fuel consumption? Winglets or weight reduction, Or is it the combination of both.

And does anyone of you know what the management of an airline can do to make their airplanes as efficient as possible.
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
737tdi
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:32 pm

I'll try to help. It all depends on how far back in aviation you want to go. If you want to compare fuel consumption of various aircraft from the Wright Flyer to biplanes, triplanes, tri motor Junkers and Fords. I think you would be much better served sticking to this route instead of management. Pick out the aircraft that changed the world, i.e. Wright Flyer, Sopwith Camel, the first monoplane, the first viable commercial jet transport, the 747, the Concorde etc. etc.. Research this and you will have a great paper. Aviation technology is a very broad subject. Good luck and is a great subject.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting jorisdebont (Reply 8):
What has a bigger impact on fuel consumption? Winglets or weight reduction, Or is it the combination of both.

That is a hard question. Somewhere in the design guides is likely a ratio of amount of weight saved being equivalent to a count of drag. Both are important
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
jorisdebont
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:34 pm

Quoting 737tdi (Reply 9):
It all depends on how far back in aviation you want to go. If you want to compare fuel consumption of various aircraft from the Wright Flyer to biplanes, triplanes, tri motor Junkers and Fords. I think you would be much better served sticking to this route instead of management.


I want to compare the fuel consumption of the "new" prop planes, the old jets and the top of the line new jet liners.

And on aerodynamics I'm probably going to focus a lot on winglets. What other aerodynamic tweaks are there?
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
Fabo
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:26 pm

lot... but I dont think any is so obvious.

Take a tail cone, for example. There was a change in shape for MD-80s, retrofittable I think. Reduced drag a bit. Vortex generators have been added and removed all over some airplanes, although not for economy reasons often.

There is a study somewhere that debates whether drag penalty for not having gear doors on the 737 is less than weigth penalty for having them would be...
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tdscanuck
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RE: Efficiency In The Aviation Industry

Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:29 am

Quoting jorisdebont (Reply 11):
And on aerodynamics I'm probably going to focus a lot on winglets. What other aerodynamic tweaks are there?

Winglets are the most visible retrofits, but they're probably not the most interesting ones. Depending on how far back you want to go, you've also got:
-swept wings
-supercritical airfoils
-slats
-all the various flap designs
-fly by wire (especially as it lead to integrated flight controls like drooped spoilers, cruise flaps, load alleviation, etc.)
-strut/wing interaction
-wing-to-body-fairings
-tail cone designs

Tom.

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