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13.3 Aircraft Range: the Breguet Range Equation

Thermodynamics and Propulsion

Next: 13.4 Aircraft Endurance Up: 13. Aircraft Performance Previous: 13.2 Power Required Contents Index Subsections 13.3.1 Relation of overall efficiency, , and thermal efficiency

13.3.2 The Propulsion Energy Conversion Chain

13.3 Aircraft Range: the Breguet Range Equation


Consider an aircraft in steady, level flight, with weight , as shown in Figure 13.1. The rate of change of the gross weight of the vehicle is equal to the fuel weight flow:

For steady, level flight,

, or

The rate of change of aircraft gross weight is thus

Suppose

and

remain constant along the flight path:

We can integrate this equation for the change in aircraft weight to yield a relation between the weight change and the time of flight:

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13.3 Aircraft Range: the Breguet Range Equation

where

is the initial weight. If

is the final weight of vehicle and , is

, the relation between

vehicle parameters and flight time,

The range is the flight time multiplied by the flight speed, or,

The above equation is known as the Breguet range equation. It shows the influence of aircraft, propulsion system, and structural design parameters.

13.3.1 Relation of overall efficiency,


Suppose

, and thermal efficiency

is the heating value (``heat of combustion'') of the fuel (i.e., the energy per unit of fuel , so

mass), in J/kg. The rate of energy release is

and

Thus

and

or

Keep in mind that, in general,


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13.3 Aircraft Range: the Breguet Range Equation

13.3.2 The Propulsion Energy Conversion Chain


The above concepts are depicted in Figure 13.4 as parts of the propulsion energy conversion train mentioned in Part I, which shows the process from chemical energy contained in the fuel to energy useful to the vehicle.

Figure 13.4: The propulsion energy conversion chain from Part I The combustion efficiency is near unity unless conditions are far off design. We can therefore regard the two main drivers as the thermal and propulsive13.1 efficiencies. The evolution of the overall efficiency of aircraft engines in terms of these quantities was shown in Figure 11.8.

Next: 13.4 Aircraft Endurance Up: 13. Aircraft Performance Previous: 13.2 Power Required Contents Index UnifiedTP

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