August 4, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary article to Part 24P. Single or dual aisle fuselage. It summarizes the drag and weight simulations we have done on fuselages for the next generation Heart of the Market airliners. When it comes to drag and weight for a 250-seat airliner that shall replace today’s Single Aisle, is a Single Aisle fuselage lower in drag and weight than a Dual Aisle fuselage?
We looked at what type of fuselage will be needed for the replacement aircraft for the Single Aisle segment during the 2030s in Part 5 and how to manufacture such fuselages in high volumes in Part 6.
The conclusion was that the expected further growth of the Heart of the Market, which presently is around 200 seats, will continue to grow and be at 250 seats during the first half of the next-generation aircraft lifespan. What we didn’t do is a drag and weight comparison of the two fuselage types to understand the consequences of using one or the other.
With the capabilities of our Aircraft Performance and Cost Model (APCM), we can make such a comparison. In order to make it “Apples to Apples,” we have designed the two different aircraft types so that:
The fuselage types we compare are a wide aisle single-aisle fuselage that has the same drag and wetted area and lower weight than the A320/A321 fuselage type to an elliptical dual aisle fuselage that has the same outer skin circumference per seat as the single-aisle fuselage, Figure 2. Both fuselages are manufactured using a Thermoplastic composite material system
The results when we apply these fuselages in a representative “ Heart of the Market airliner” with 250 passengers capacity and 3,000nm range is:
On the other hand, the long fuselage, with a fineness ratio well over 10, is not structurally optimal (too long and thin). The weight of the fuselage employed in a real aircraft is, therefore, higher than for the shorter and more optimal dual aisle fuselage.
We can see that both fuselages will result in aircraft with similar characteristics. The major difference will be the development potential for the aircraft as it goes from its first 25 years of its 50 years life into the second half.
The dual aisle alternative will have ample stretch potential where the single-aisle is stretched to the limit. At a 50 meters fuselage, the single-aisle gates in airports are already in danger due to the tail of the aircraft stretching into the taxi area at many airports.