The Small Airliner Problem, Part 7. How affected are Green airliners?

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By Bjorn Fehrm

June 8, 2023, © Leeham News: We have analyzed the costs factors that make up Cash Operating Cost, COC (Fuel, Maintenance, Airway/Airport fees, Crew costs), and how these vary with different size airliners. The aim was to search for fundamental trends and if these disadvantaged a smaller airliner versus a larger one.

We found that a smaller airliner (we analyzed from 190 seats down to 9 seats) has structural cost disadvantages versus a larger model. The analysis was made with conventional gas turbine-propelled planes so as not to complicate the work. Now we introduce airliner types with green propulsion concepts and see if the trends stay the same or change.

Figure 1. The Heart Aerospace ES-30 hybrid 30-seat airliner. Source: Heart Aerospace.

  • We analyze the fundamental characteristics of a hybrid 30-seat airliner and compare it to the conventional airliners we characterized in the series.
  • The negative cost trend for smaller airliners worsens for a battery or hybrid airliner.

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