D3.1 Benefits Analysis of the Initial Operational Cruiser-Feeder Concept

Raj Nangia, Morscheck Fabian, Bernd Korn, Juliana Early, Richard McRoberts, Mark Price, Merje Hoppe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The REsearch on a CRuiser Enabled Air Transport Environment (RECREATE) project is considers the introduction and airworthiness of cruiser-feeder operations for civil aircraft. Cruiser-feeder operations are investigated as a promising pioneering idea for the air transport of the future. The soundness of the concept of cruiser-feeder operations for civil aircraft can be understood, taking air-to-air refueling operations as an example. For this example, a comprehensive estimate of the benefits can be made, which shows a fuel burn reduction potential and a CO2 emission reduction of 31% for a typical 6000 nautical miles flight with a payload of 250 passengers. This reduction potential is known to be large by any standard. The top level objective of the RECREATE project is to demonstrate on a preliminary design level that cruiser-feeder operations (as a concept to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emission levels) can be shown to comply with the airworthiness requirements for civil aircraft. The underlying Scientific and Technological (S&T) objectives are to determine and study airworthy operational concepts for cruiser-feeder operations, and to derive and quantify benefits in terms of CO2 emission reduction but also other benefits.

Work Package (WP) 3 has the objective to substantiate the assumed benefits of the cruiser/feeder operations through refined analysis and simulation. In this report, initial benefits evaluation of the initial RECREATE cruiser/feeder concepts is presented. The benefits analysis is conducted in delta mode, i.e. comparison is made with a baseline system. Since comparing different aircraft and air transport systems is never a trivial task, appropriate measures and metrics are defined and selected first. Non-dimensional parameters are defined and values for the baseline system derived.

The impact of cruiser/feeder operations such as air-to-air refueling are studied with respect to fuel-burn (or carbon-dioxide), noise and congestion. For this purpose, traffic simulations have been conducted.
Cruiser/feeder operations will have an impact on dispatch reliability as well. An initial assessment of the effect on dispatch reliability has been made and is reported.

Finally, a considerable effort has been made to create the infrastructure for economic delta analysis of the cruiser/feeder concept of operation. First results of the cost analysis have been obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeliverable 3.1 of WP 3 of the EU RECREATE project
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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