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Superconducting electromagnetic launch system for civil aircraft

Bertola, Luca; Cox, Thomas; Wheeler, Patrick; Garvey, Seamus D.; Morvan, Herve


Luca Bertola

Thomas Cox

Patrick Wheeler

Seamus D. Garvey

Herve Morvan


This paper considers the feasibility of different superconducting technologies for electromagnetic launch (EML) to assist civil aircraft take-off. EML has the potential of reducing the required runway length by increasing aircraft acceleration. Expensive airport extensions to face constant air traffic growth could be avoided by allowing large aircraft to operate from short runways at small airports. The new system positively affects total aircraft noise and exhaust emissions near airports and improves overall aircraft efficiency through reducing engine design constraints. Superconducting Linear Synchronous Motors (SCLSMs) can be exploited to deliver the required take-off thrust with electromagnetic performance that cannot be easily achieved by conventional electrical machines. The sizing procedure of a SCLSM able to launch A320 in weight is presented. Electromagnetic and thermal aspects of the machine are taken into account including the modelling of ac losses in superconductors and thermal insulation. The metallic high temperature superconductor (HTS) magnesium diboride (MgB2) is used and operated at 20 K, the boiling temperature of liquid hydrogen. With modern manufacturing technology, multifilament MgB2 wires appear to be the most cost-effective solution for this application. Finally the impact of the cryocooler efficiency on the machine performance is evaluated.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2016
Journal IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Print ISSN 1051-8223
Electronic ISSN 1558-2515
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 8
Keywords Biot-Savart law, Civil aircraft, Electromagnetic catapult, EML/EMLs, High temperature Superconductor, Linear synchronous motor, Magnesium diboride, Superconducting coil, Superconducting linear accelerator
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
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