Journal Article

Aircraft Conceptual Design for Optimal Environmental Performance


R. P. Henderson, J. R. R. A. Martins, and R. E. Perez


The Aeronautical Journal, 116(1175):1–22, 2012

Consideration of the environmental impact of aircraft has become critical in commercial aviation. The continued growth of air traffic has caused increasing demands to reduce aircraft emissions, imposing new constraints on the design and development of future airplane concepts. In this paper, an aircraft design optimisation framework is used to design aircraft that minimise specific envi- ronmental metrics. Multidisciplinary design optimisation is used to optimise aircraft by simultaneously considering airframe, engine and mission. The environmental metrics considered in this investigation are CO2 emissions — which are proportional to fuel burn — and landing- takeoff NOx emissions. The results are compared to those of an aircraft with minimum direct operating cost. The design variables considered in the optimisation problems include aircraft geom- etry, engine parameters, and cruise settings. An augmented Lagrangian particle swarm optimiser and a genetic algorithm are used to solve the single objective and multi-objective optimisation problems, respectively.