Design of high wing loading compact electric airplane utilizing co-flow jet flow control

Alexis Lefebvre, G. C. Zha

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

32 Scopus citations


This paper presents a conceptual electric airplane design utilizing Co-Flow Jet (CFJ) flow control. The purpose is to design an aircraft with high wing loading and a compact size so that an airplane can carry more battery and reach a longer range. The CFJ Electric Aircraft (CFJ-EA) mission is to carry 4 passengers at a cruise Mach number of 0.15 with a range of about 300nm. The CFJ-EA cruises at a very high CL of 1.3, which produces a wing loading of 182.3kg/m2, about 3 times higher than that of a conventional general aviation airplane. The aerodynamic efficiency including the power consumption of the CFJ pump (L/D)c is excellent with a value of 24 at a low momentum coefficient Cµ of 0.04. Takeoff and landing distances are also reasonable due to a very high maximum CL of 4.8, achieved with a high Cµ of 0.28. The wing is designed to pivot around its 1/4 chord axis so that it can achieve high angle of attack (AoA) without rotating the fuselage. A measure of merit defined as PMS=Passengers*Miles/S is introduced, where S is the wing planform area. The PMS of the present EA design is close to that of a conventional reciprocating engine general aviation airplane, and is 2.3 to 3.8 times greater than the PMS of the state of the art EA. The design results suggest that the CFJ-EA has a far greater range than a same size EA using a conventional wing design. Or for the same range, the CFJ-EA has a much smaller size than a conventional design. This design is the first trail with no systematic design optimization. The CFJ-EA concept may open the door to a new class of general aviation EA designs. The same CFJ flow control technology can also be used for other general aviation airplanes with conventional propulsion systems and for high altitude airplanes to reduce size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103438
StatePublished - 2015
Event53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2015 - Kissimmee, United States
Duration: Jan 5 2015Jan 9 2015

Publication series

Name53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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