Technology Review of Sustainable Aircraft Design

  • Tawfiq Ahmed
  • Dilek Funda KurtulusEmail author


Since the beginning of the aviation industry, fossil fuel is being used as the only source of fuel to power airplanes. Each year the popularity of aviation industry among the passengers is increasing dramatically because of its short journey time. Therefore, the demand of fossil fuel is also increasing to support the additional need. However, the stock of fossil fuel is reducing and will all be consumed within a couple of decades. In addition to this, the increment of greenhouse gas has become another issue, which should be dealt with urgently in order to not contribute to global warming. Because of these upcoming problems, another source of fuel and a significant development in aircraft design are a must for the future of aviation industry. Some new sources of fuels are being tested as alternative fuels. Solar power, biofuels, and hydrogen fuel are some of them. New techniques for aircraft design have also been developed within the last couple of years. To make these new ideas available, all the aircraft manufacturing companies and engineers should work collectively.


Sustainable aircraft design Solar powered aircrafts Hydrogen fueled aircraft Biofueled aircrafts Hybrid aircraft 


  1. 1.
    European Commission (2011) Flightpath 2050: Europe’s vision for aviation. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  2. 2.
    Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Aerospace Forecast (2016) Total jet fuel and aviation gasoline fuel consumption. p. 76Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2016) Fast facts on transportation greenhouse gas emissions. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  4. 4.
    European Commission (2006) Climate change: commission proposes bringing air transport into EU emissions trading scheme (press release). EU press release. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  5. 5.
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) (2017) 2036 Forecast reveals air passengers will nearly double to 7.8 billion. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  6. 6.
    Agarwal R (2018) Sustainable (green) aviation: challenges & opportunities. International symposium on sustainable aviation, Rome, 9–11 July, 2018, p. 4Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Maurice L, Lee D (2009) Assessing current scientific knowledge, uncertainties and gaps in quantifying climate change, noise and air quality aviation impacts, final report of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation and Environmental Protection (CAEP) workshop. US Federal Aviation Administration and Manchester Metropolitan University, Washington DC/ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cikovic A, Damarodis T (2012) The Boeing 787’s role in new sustainability in the commercial aircraft industry. University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  9. 9.
    Immarigeon J, Holt R, Koul A, Zhao L, Wallace W, Beddoes J (1995) Lightweight materials for aircraft applications. Mater Charact 35(1):41–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pioneer profile. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519). Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  11. 11.
    Tise LE (2009) Conquering the sky. Palgrave MacMillan, New York, p 22Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gollin A (1989) The impact of air power on the British people and their government. Stanford Unversity Press, Stanford, California, pp 70–74Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mirguet H (1912) Le Monocoque Deperdussin. L’Aérophile XX(28):410–411Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sikorsky II (1967) The story of the Winged-S: an autobiography. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, pp 69–117Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dienel HL, Schiefelbusch M (2000) German commercial air transport until 1945. Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire 78(3–4):955–956Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Spooner S (1921) The Zeppelin-Stakken all-metal monoplane. pp 185–186. Retrieved from:
  17. 17.
    DC-1 commercial transport. Historical snapshot. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  18. 18.
    Robinson D (1973) The dangerous sky. University of Washington Press, Seattle, pp 103–104Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nahum A, Whittle F (2004) Invention of the jet, Chapter 3. Icon Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hallion RP (1979) Lippisch, Gluhareff, and Jones: the emergence of the delta planform and the origins of the sweptwing in the United States. Aerospace Historian 26(1):1–10Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    U.S. Air Force (1948) Air force supersonic research airplane XS-1 report no. 1, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, pp 22–26Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Linden FRVD, Spencer AM, Paone TJ (2016) Milestones of flight: the epic of aviation with the National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Museum, in association with Zenith Press, Washington, DC, pp 148–153Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Modern Airliners (2018) Boeing 777 history. Boeing triple seven history. Retrieved from:
  24. 24.
    Phillips WH (1980) Some design considerations for solar-powered aircraft, NASA technical paper 1675Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Noth A, Siegwart R (2006) Design of solar powered airplanes for continuous flight. ETH, Zürich, p 1Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Div S (2016) Solar impulse 2: the groundbreaking aircraft demonstrating the possibilities of clean energy, The IndependentGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    HB-SIA Mission (2011) Solar impulse project. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  28. 28.
    Malcolm C (2010) Swiss solar plane makes history with night flight. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  29. 29.
    Batrawy A (2015) Solar-powered plane takes off for flight around the world. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  30. 30.
    Diaz J (2007) Solar impulse: around the world in a 100% sun-powered airplane. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  31. 31.
    Al-Jazeera (2015) Solar-powered Swiss plane attempts flight around world. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  32. 32.
    Sunseeker Duo – first two seat solar powered aircraft. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  33. 33.
    Sun powers first two-place electric aircraft. Sport Aviation. 14 July 2014Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Diaz J (2007) Solar impulse: around the world in a 100% sun powered airplane. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  35. 35.
    Solar Impulse (2014) Building a solar aircraft. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  36. 36.
    Sigler D (2014) Sunseeker duo goes dual. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  37. 37.
    Lapena-Rey N, Mosquera J, Bataller E (2008) Environmentally friendly power sources for aerospace applications. J Power Sources 181:353–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Mital SK, Gyekenyesi JZ, Arnold SM, Sullivan RM, Manderscheid JM, Murthy PLN (2006) Review of current state of the art and key design issues with potential solutions for liquid hydrogen cryogenic storage tank structures for aircraft applications. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ClevelandGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
  40. 40.
    NIST (2017) Thermophysical properties of fluid systems. National Institute of Standards and Technology, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Sehra AK, Whitlow W Jr (2004) Propulsion and power for 21st century aviation. Prog Aerosp Sci 40:199–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cryoplane (2002) Liquid hydrogen fuelled aircraft- system analysis (Cryoplane). Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  43. 43.
    Yakovlieva A, Vovk O, Biochenko S, Lejda K (2018) Evaluation of jet engine parameters using conventional and alternative jet fuels. International symposium on sustainable aviation, 9–11 July 2018, Rome, p. 31Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Megan E (2017) NASA confirms biofuels reduce jet emissions. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  45. 45.
    Louise D (2011) Airlines win approval to use biofuels for commercial flights. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  46. 46.
    Alternative jet fuel. International Air Transport Association (IATA), alternative fuel strategic partnerships. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  47. 47.
    Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (2012). Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  48. 48.
    Kavita U (2018) SpiceJet flies India’s first biofuel flight from Dehradun to Delhi. Indian Express. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  49. 49.
    Singapore Airlines (2017) SIA and CAAS partner to operate first ‘green package’ flights in the world. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  50. 50.
    KLM (2016) KLM to operate biofuel flights out of Los Angeles. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  51. 51.
    Boeing, Hainan Airlines operate China’s first cooking oil-powered flight. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  52. 52.
    Scandinavian Airlines (2014) SAS tar av med biofuel. Retrieved from:
  53. 53.
    Beck N., Landa T., Seitz A., Boemans L., Liz Y., Radespiel R.: Drag reduction by laminar flow control. In: Energies 11(1), S252. (2018)
  54. 54.
    Kadyk T, Winnerfeld C, Hanie RR, Krewer U (2018) Analysis and Design of Fuel Cell Systems for aviation. Energies 11(2):B375. Scholar
  55. 55.
    Patel N (2018) Can configuration alone make for a greener aircraft? The case for a blended wing-body, medium size, medium range transport. International symposium on sustainable aviation, 9–11 July 2018, Rome, p. 27Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    NASA & Boeing (2008) The X-48B blended wing body. Available at: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  57. 57.
    RQ-170 sentinel unmanned aerial vehicle. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  58. 58.
    General R (2016) China unveils their impressive prize-winning attack drone. Retrieved from: Accessed 1 Oct 2018
  59. 59.
    Khalid A, Kumar P (2014) Aerodynamic optimization of box wing – a case study. International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace 1(4):1–45Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Pnithan J, Brenna J, Janine M, Shreya R, Khaschuchuluun T (2018) PYXIS: ultra-efficient commercial aircraft with gull-boxed wings and liquid hydrogen fuel. International symposium on sustainable aviation, 9–11 July 2018, Rome, p. 73Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Erikson P Primary fuels for energy conversion. MAE 218. Davis, CA. Lecture 4Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Roskam J (1989) Airplane design parts I–VIII. Roskam Aviation and Engineering Corporation, OttawaGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Raymer D (1992) Aircraft design - a conceptual approach. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, DC. isbn:0-930403-51-7Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Anderson JD (1999) Aircraft performance and design. McGraw Hill, Singapore. isbn:0-07-001971-1Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Kroo I (2001) Techniques for aircraft configuration optimization. In: Aircraft design: synthesis and analysis. Stanford University, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Lloyd RJ, Rhodes D, Simpkin P (1999) Civil Jet Aircraft Design. Arnold Publishers, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Megson THG (2007) Aircraft structures for engineering students, Elsevier aerospace engineering series, 4th edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford/Burlington. isbn:978-1-85617-932-4Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations