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ISAAR Chair: Spotlight on the GYPAETUS research project

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As part of the work sponsored by the ISAAR Chair “Innovation Solutions for CS-23 Aircraft Architecture and Regulation”, with support from Daher, 8 international students from the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at ISAE-SUPAERO are working on the GYPAETUS research project for the design of an airplane with very low CO2 emissions during flight. This project will enable the students to develop and mobilize their innovative aircraft design skills for a reduced environmental footprint.

Projet GYPAETUS - ISAAR

The GYPAETUS project for the 2020-2022 period gets students involved in the commuter aircraft segment (up to 19 passengers), targeting the market for “thin-haul commuting” air operations.

The needs analysis constitutes the team’s first job for this type of operation designed to serve regional airports, typically for air routes covering 300 to 500 km. It is used to define high-level requirements and objectives for the project, as well as the leeway to be taken into account in the parametric studies for exploring configurations.

The concept adopted is that of an airplane with an electric powertrain using a distributed propulsion architecture. Based on this, the students’ research work, organized in an integrated, multidisciplinary team, seeks to design and assess an architectural and energy solution that complies with demanding environmental criteria while providing performances that make the airplane and its operating concept viable.

The following topics are being studied:

  • Conceptual study of possible architectures, then the preliminary design and optimization of the most relevant solution;
  • Performance analysis and flight quality assessment for the solution adopted;
  • Design and modelling of the propulsion system and propeller-wing interactions, including their effect on the plane’s aerodynamic performances and on thrust transients;
  • Design of the electric power chain, notably including a comparative assessment of the different possible energy sources to meet CO2 emission and performance requirements;
  • Modelling of the power chain components and definition of strategies for the management and optimization of energy and power for the flight profiles under consideration;
  • The preliminary certifiability assessment of the architecture adopted and the formulation of a safety analysis like the “Model-Based Safety Assessment” integrated into the preliminary design process.

The GYPAETUS project allows students to develop and mobilize innovative aircraft design skills with a reduced environmental footprint. Beyond a mastery of cutting-edge scientific fields, it also lets them implement the interdisciplinary skills of an aircraft architect.
The students working on the GYPAETUS project, supervised by researchers from the Airplane Design research group at ISAE-SUPAERO’s DCAS department, are applying methods, models and the FAST-OAD-GA multidisciplinary design and optimization platform developed as part of the work sponsored by the ISAAR Chair, “Innovation Solutions for CS-23 Aircraft Architecture and Regulation”, with support from Daher.

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