Conceptual Multifunctional Design, Feasibility and Requirements for Structural Power in Aircraft Cabins
Journal article, 2021

This paper presents a theoretical investigation into the potential use of structural power composites in regional aircraft passenger cabins and the corresponding challenges to widespread use, including fire resistance, long-term cycling performance, and cost. This study focuses on adapting sandwich floor panels with structural power composite face sheets, designed to power the in-flight entertainment system. Using a simple mechanical model to define the structural requirements, based on state-of-the-art laminated structural power composites, a series of electrochemical energy storage performance targets were calculated: a specific energy >144  (W⋅h)/kg, a specific power >0.29  kW/kg, an in-plane elastic modulus >28  GPa, and in-plane tensile and compressive strengths >219  MPa. Significantly, the use of a distributed energy storage system offered a significant range of other mass and cost savings, associated with a simplified power system, and the use of ground-generated electrical energy. For an Airbus A220-100, the analysis predicted potential mass and volume savings of approximately 260 kg and 510 l and annual reductions in CO2 and NOx emissions of approximately 280 tonnes and 1.2 tonnes respectively. This extended design analysis of a specific component highlights both the far-reaching implications of implementing structural power materials and the potential extensive systemic benefits.


Sang N Nguyen

Imperial College London

Alexis Millereux

Imperial College London

Aymeric Pouyat

Imperial College London

Emile S. Greenhalgh

Imperial College London

Milo S. Shaffer

Imperial College London

Anthony R. J. Kucernak

Imperial College London

Peter Linde

Airbus Operations SAS

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science

Journal of Aircraft

0021-8669 (ISSN)

Vol. In Press

Subject Categories

Aerospace Engineering

Vehicle Engineering



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