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White Paper

Shaping sustainable aviation with a digital twin

What will it take for the aeronautics industry to achieve climate neutrality by 2050?

This white paper reviews the technical and environmental differences between jet engines powered by kerosene and some of today’s leading alternative propulsion systems. It explores how these factors are transforming the design of next-generation aircraft and the aviation supply chain. It also explains how leveraging digitalization software can support sustainability strategies to keep timelines for green aircraft development on schedule.

Carbon-neutral aviation

The aerospace industry is taking steps to reduce emissions and improve aircraft fuel efficiency, but to meet goals set forth by the Paris Agreement of carbon neutrality by 2050, those efforts won’t be enough. It has become clear that carbon-neutral aviation can be achieved through alternative fuel sources such as biofuels and electric power, which will require a complete architectural redesign of today’s aircraft.

Future aircraft propulsion systems

Governments and people are becoming increasingly aware of the forthcoming problems associated with climate change, and this has driven extensive research into alternatively fueled aircraft propulsion systems over the last several years. Although every alternative to kerosene-powered jet engines has its own issues, environmental concerns dictate that aircraft must transition away from fossil fuels. This will, of course, disrupt the aviation industry. Download the white paper to learn more about the emergence of future aircraft propulsion systems.

Future aircraft designs

These new power sources will also result in revolutionary new aircraft configurations since the power source will be stored in the body of the plane rather than the wings (as it currently is with kerosene-fueled aircraft). To address the challenges and complexity of future aircraft designs, a key element in creating successful next-generation aircraft and propulsion systems is the use of digitalization and a digital twin. Engineers benefit from virtual prototypes that can be used to run simulations before a physical prototype is built and deployed.

Simcenter simulation and testing support sustainable aviation

Siemens Xcelerator portfolio and Simcenter simulation and testing solutions provide an integrated design environment for multi-disciplinary aerospace engineering teams to model, analyze and test the impact of alternative energy sources and propulsion on future aircraft configurations. Simcenter simulation and testing solutions support sustainable aviation, providing essential proof of compliance data using both virtual and physical testing for the mission-critical certification process. Moreover, for distributed propulsion, Simcenter supports engineering decisions for optimal aerodynamic, electrical, thermal and structural integration.

Read the white paper for details.