Improving Feasibility of Point to Point Operations Through Civil Aerial Refuelling

R. McRoberts, J. M. Early, M. Price, F. Morcheck, M. Li, G. La Rocca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Re-imagining of the aerial transportation system has become increasingly important as the need for significant environmental and economic efficiency gains has become ever more prevalent. A number of studies have highlighted the benefits of the adoption of air to air refuelling within civil aviation. However, it also opens up the potential for increased flexibility in operations through smaller aircraft, shifting emphasis away from the traditional hub and spoke method of operation towards the more flexible Point to Point operations. It is proposed here that one technology can act as an enabler for the other, realising benefits that neither can realise as a standalone. The impact of an air-toair refuelling enabled point to point system is discussed, and the affect on economic and environmental cost metrics relative to traditional operations evaluated. An idealised airport configuration study shows the difference in fuel burn for point to point networks to vary from -23% to 28% from that of Hub and Spoke depending on the configuration. The sensitive natures of the concepts are further explored in a second study based on real airport configurations. The complex effect of the choice of a Point to Point or Hub and Spoke system on fuel burn, operating cost and revenue potential is highlighted. Fuel burn savings of 15% can be experienced with AAR over traditional refuelling operations, with point to point networks increasing the available seat miles (by approximately 20%) without a proportional increase in operating cost or fuel.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Aviation: 14th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781624102820
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2014
EventAIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition (AIAA AVIATION 2014) - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201420 Jun 2014

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition (AIAA AVIATION 2014)
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period16/06/201420/06/2014
OtherIncluding the: 14th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference.

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  • Cite this

    McRoberts, R., Early, J. M., Price, M., Morcheck, F., Li, M., & La Rocca, G. (2014). Improving Feasibility of Point to Point Operations Through Civil Aerial Refuelling. In AIAA Aviation: 14th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. https://doi.org/10.2514/MATIO14