Entry Date:
November 19, 2004

Environmental Issues in Aircraft Conceptual Design

Principal Investigator Karen Willcox

Environmental issues are becoming increasingly important, both for current and future aircraft. It is essential that the early design process take account of effects on noise, local air quality, and global climate change. An interesting example that demonstrates the importance of environmental factors is that the A380 is rumored to have sacrificed 2% in fuel burn in order to meet noise restrictions at London Heathrow. While noise is a primary concern at Heathrow, the implication of this tradeoff for local air quality is not clear. In the context of new technology development, it is particularly important to understand the tradeoffs between the various environmental factors and traditional design metrics such as fuel burn.