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Reducing weight and fuel consumption of civil aircraft by electromagnetic launch

Bertola, Luca; Cox, Tom; Wheeler, Patrick; Polenta, Valerio; Garvey, Seamus D.; Morvan, Herve


Luca Bertola

Valerio Polenta

Seamus D. Garvey

Herve Morvan


Electromagnetic launch systems have been proposed for military applications to accelerate jet planes on aircraft carriers. This paper proposes the implementation of similar technology to aid civil aircraft take-off, which can provide significant economic, environmental and technical benefits. Assisted launch has the potential of reducing on ground noise and emissions near airports and improving overall aircraft efficiency through reducing engine thrust requirements. This paper presents a take-off performance analysis for an Airbus A320-200 taking off with and without the assistance of the electromagnetic catapult. Assisted take-off allows for a significant reduction in take-off field length, giving more capacity with existing airport footprints and reducing the necessary footprint of new airports, which will both reduce costs and increase the number of suitable sites. The electromagnetic catapult may allow the installation of smaller engines with lower rated thrust. The consequent fuel consumption and operational cost reduction is estimated. The potential of reducing the aircraft operational costs and the runway length required make electromagnetic launch system an attractive solution to the air traffic growth in busy airports.


Bertola, L., Cox, T., Wheeler, P., Polenta, V., Garvey, S. D., & Morvan, H. (2017). Reducing weight and fuel consumption of civil aircraft by electromagnetic launch.

Conference Name ICAS 2017: 19th International Conference on Aeronautical Sciences
End Date Feb 3, 2017
Acceptance Date Feb 1, 2017
Publication Date Feb 2, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 23, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2017
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Electromagnetic launch system, fuel consumption, take-off analysis, weight reduction
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