To achieve the goals of substantial improvements in efficiency and emissions set by Flightpath 2050, fundamentally different concepts are required. As one of the most promising solutions, electrification of the aircraft primary propulsion is currently a prime focus of research and development. Unconventional propulsion sub-systems, mainly the electrical power system, associated thermal management system and transmission system, provide a variety of options for integration in the existing propulsion systems. Different combinations of the gas turbine and the unconventional propulsion sub-systems introduce different configurations and operation control strategies. The trade-off between the use of the two energy sources, jet fuel and electrical energy, is primarily a result of the trade-offs between efficiencies and sizing characteristics of these sub-systems. The aircraft structure and performance are the final carrier of these trade-offs. Hence, full design space exploration of various hybrid derivatives requires global investigation of the entire aircraft considering these key propulsion sub-systems and the aircraft structure and performance, as well as their interactions.
This paper presents a recent contribution of the development for a physics-based simulation and optimization platform for hybrid electric aircraft conceptual design. Modeling of each subsystem and the aircraft structure are described as well as the aircraft performance modeling and integration technique. With a focus on the key propulsion sub-systems, aircraft structure and performance that interfaces with existing conceptual design frameworks, this platform aims at full design space exploration of various hybrid concepts at a low TRL level.