Using an autothrottle to compare techniques for saving fuel on a regional jet aircraft
Johnson, Rebecca (2010) Using an autothrottle to compare techniques for saving fuel on a regional jet aircraft. Masters thesis, Iowa State University.
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With rising fuel costs there is an initiative to conserve fuel during flight. Several methods have been proposed to calculate an optimum speed to fly during cruise flight to maximize the range of a particular aircraft. This paper compares 11 of these methods using the same aircraft model and discusses how to implement these techniques in an autothrottle. Alternative implementations also include adding the algorithm to the Flight Management System to use during flight planning, or to including it in the databases to use during dispatch calculations. The results show that the speeds calculated by these methods are more fuel efficient than the usual cruise operating speed. Since flying at the optimum speed is not always practical, this research also looked at the design of the industry autothrottle. Improvements to the industry autothrottle speed control law were implemented to see if improvements to fuel consumption could be achieved at any speed. The results show that the improvements proposed did not improve the fuel consumption during the conditions simulated.
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